MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto no.1 in F major, K37
Piano Concerto no.5 in D major, K175
Piano Concerto no.18 in B flat major, K456
Piano Concerto no.9 in E flat major, K271 'Jeunehomme'
Piano Concerto no.18 in B flat major, K456
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai (1, 5 & 18)
French National Radio Orchestra/Lorin Maazel (9)
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin (18)
rec. Tokyo 1994 (1, 5 & 18); Tours, 1966 (9); Moscow, 1977 (18)
NTSC 0, Black and White and Colour
PARNASSUS DVD PDVD1207 [139 mins]

There are five filmed Mozart concerto performances in this 139-minute DVD, though K456 is seen in two different concerts. The earliest is Richter’s performance of K271 in Tours in July 1966, with Lorin Maazel directing the French National Radio Orchestra in the only black and white performance. The location is a rustic barn; the beams are appealing. There’s a microphone directly by the side of the piano and limited camera angles, one that tracks to focus on Richter mid-shot and then close-up and another that tracks across the orchestra and conductor. We also get front-on views of Richter. The slow movement is especially rapt, though Maazel conducts on the mirror philosophy, each hand faithfully mirroring the other.

Richter and Kondrashin join in K456 on 9 January 1977. The visuals are in rather washy colour (I assume this is transferred direct from VHS) and it’s noticeable – or it becomes so when one gets to it – that Kondrashin takes a far more athletic and rhythmically pointed approach than Barshai in Tokyo in 1994. Indeed, so does Richter. Though he doesn’t play from it, Richter has the score open. The cameramen were clearly under directorial orders to focus on Richter; we hardly see anything of Kondrashin and as the shots are from some way back in the stalls there is frustration in not even having many orchestral panning shots, not even in the orchestral introductions. The cameras only have eyes for Richter.

The 3 March 1994 Tokyo performance was his final concert with orchestra. The Shinsei Nihon Symphony is on well-drilled form under Barshai’s gemütlich direction and the three concertos can be enjoyed in somewhat bleeding colour and some wobbles along the way – again I assume these are ex-VHS. Again, all eyes are on Richter, the orchestra and conductor relegated alike to the role of boys and girls in the back room. The First Concerto suffers most from film bleeding but K175 is better and more consistent and K456 equally reasonable though it could not be claimed these are in any way state of the art. Richter receives whoops of joy at the end of the last concerto and off he goes. Incidentally his cadenza choices are worthy of note: for K37, Artur Balsam, for K175, Soulima Stravinsky and, as with the Moscow concert, for K456, Mozart’s cadenzas.

There are no notes with the DVD, but there is a simple track listing and navigation is straightforward and unproblematic. Video restoration has clearly done well but there is only so much one can do with old tapes. Richter is captured here over a period of nearly three decades on this all-Mozart release. It’s not especially revelatory, though it does show how much more vivid and engaged he was in the 70s and offers a handy insight into his imperatives in Mozart over the years.

Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing