Brahms Piano Sonatas etc
It's a funny thing about musical taste: you can rationalise all you like, but if something ultimately doesn't touch you, then that's just the way it is. The playing of the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who died in 1997, is a case in point. I was reminded of this while listening to this new reissue of Richter playing sonatas and Klavierstucke by Brahms. Richter was a fantastic pianist of compelling dramatic power and clarity, with an extraordinary mix of steel and lyricism in his musical armoury. But his playing, to my mind, was short on warmth and spirit: it didn't reach me. That said, it's worth hearing these performances of the first two Piano Sonatas, especially the first, to which Richter brings an epic quality and a grand sweep, reminiscent in scale and power of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata.