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16 years ago today - Richard Goode in Philadelphia
#3039849 10/27/20 09:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 138
Hank M Offline OP
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Live recitals are still a rarity while the pandemic continues unabated, so I thought I would go to the vault and post another review from the past. Richard Goode is scheduled to give a recital in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center on February 5, 2021, but at this point, it is not known whether that venue will be available.

The bio appearing in the program booklet states: “Mr. Goode is widely regarded as the legitimate heir to the mantle of his teacher Rudolf Serkin in the Mozart-Beethoven-Schubert-Brahms repertory.” This is certainly true, but as illustrated by Richard Goode’s Philadelphia recital on Wednesday night [October 27, 2004], it is not the whole truth. Two seasons ago, Goode included Chopin and Debussy on his program, to great acclaim. This time, he added Schoenberg and devoted the entire second half of his program to Debussy.

Goode began his program with the Bach Partita in E minor (BMV 830). His playing was expressive, but appropriately restrained. While refraining from giving Bach the full “romantic” treatment that some favor, he let us know that this was a performance on a modern piano, not a baroque instrument. I should note that, while the rest of the program was played from memory, Goode had the music in front of him for Bach. Perhaps his memory was shaky on this work? Whatever the reason, it did not detract from his performance.

Next, Goode presented Schoenberg’s Six Little Pieces for Piano, Op. 19. The emphasis was on “little.” If, for example, a Chopin Waltz is described as a miniature, each of these pieces is microscopic. I will admit that this was my least favorite segment of the program, but this was due to the music, not the performance.

Despite Goode’s adventures in other areas of the repertory, for me, it wouldn’t be a Richard Goode recital without Beethoven. Goode obliged my desire (and, I’m sure, many audience members) with a superb rendition of late Beethoven, the Op. 109 Sonata. The long, slow final movement is Beethoven at his most spiritual, and I can only describe Goode’s performance as…heavenly!

After intermission, Goode played Book 1 of Debussy’s Preludes. Some of these pieces are often heard: the sweet Girl with Flaxen Hair; the mysterious Engulfed Cathedral. But I also enjoyed the less familiar pieces in this set. “What the West Wind Saw” particularly stands out in my mind, but Goode’s performance of all of these works was masterful, and was warmly received by the audience. Encores by Chopin and Schubert closed out this wonderful recital, and I’m looking forward to his next visit to Philadelphia.

Re: 16 years ago today - Richard Goode in Philadelphia
Hank M #3041218 10/30/20 10:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,015
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,015
Thanks for re-posting!

It is an excellently written review, as all of yours are.
To me they are fully at the level of the very best professional reviews.
Which is to say, superior to most.

The first time I met Richard Goode was when a pianist friend of mine was visiting from England and playing some recitals in New York. Since Goode was "a friend of a friend" of hers, he came to one of them, a small house recital, and I got to spend some nice time with him.
And, BTW, one of the pieces she played at that recital was this Bach Partita -- not that I'm thinking this was where he first heard it and was inspired to play it. grin

Shortly thereafter I heard him play a little house recital -- at which I was pleasantly surprised to find him playing some Debussy (L'isle joyeuse). I commented to him afterwards that I was only familiar with Horowitz's recording, and that he (Richard) played parts of it quite differently. He said all he did was, he played what is written. ha

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