Was Sviatoslav Richter using the pedal in his recordings for Well-Tempered Clavier ?

I'm not able to listen if he is using it or not. (Since I like his way of playing, I would like to do the same : use the sustain pedal if he does, and not use it if he does not.)

  • 1
    I guess, this would be more appropriate for Music Fans section. – guidot Mar 17 at 19:23
  • @guidot : it seems that this tag does not exist – Mathieu Krisztian Mar 17 at 19:26
  • 1
    Actually it is no tag but another section of stack overflow. – guidot Mar 17 at 19:57
  • @guidot : thank you, I will ask there – Mathieu Krisztian Mar 17 at 20:03

It's obvious (to me) that the first C major prelude is absolutely drowned in pedal, and there is plenty at the start of the fugue as well.

Totally unauthentic, but whatever turns you on!

But if you cant "hear" what effects he is producing with the pedal, simply "using it because he does" might not achieve what you want!

| improve this answer | |
  • thank you for your help – Mathieu Krisztian Mar 18 at 9:38
  • 1
    I like the prelude arpeggios with pedal - and I bet Bach would have marked it if he had one. ;) – Albrecht Hügli Mar 18 at 10:00
  • It can't be "authentic" anyway if it's being played on the piano, so the pursuit of authenticity doesn't strike me as a goal for people playing Bach on the piano — even Glenn Gould. As for what the OP wants, he has much to learn about that, and he could do a lot worse than emulating Richter as well as he might. – BobRodes Mar 27 at 0:19

If you want to compare one which has very little pedal, have a listen to some of Glenn Gould's recordings. For example this one:

The same fugue starts at 15:10 on the Richter recording you've provided. You will see that the difference in pedal usage is pronounced.

| improve this answer | |
  • thank you. I'm surprised though : Glen Gould uses pedal while I thought that he was never using pedal, and that he was playing staccato, which is not what we hear. He plays legato here. – Mathieu Krisztian Mar 27 at 9:39
  • 1
    @MathieuKrisztian I think what can be said of Gould is that he uses less pedal than many pianists (Richter, for example), but certainly not no pedal at all. He is also known for playing passages staccato that nobody else would (here's a famous example, which you can also compare to Richter's version), but that doesn't mean that he never plays legato, either. – BobRodes Mar 28 at 1:59
  • thank you. I didn't know that. – Mathieu Krisztian Mar 28 at 16:02
  • For a couple of eye-openers on the kind of pianist that Gould was, have a listen to this and this. – BobRodes Mar 29 at 18:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.