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NY Times Examines Richard Goode's "Long and Productive Affiliation" with Nonesuch

Richarg Goode

Richard Goode's first recording of all five Beethoven piano concertos with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and conductor Iván Fischer, is set for release on Nonesuch in the UK today and worldwide tomorrow. Goode is one of very few American pianists to have recorded the complete Beethoven concertos, and the first to do so in nearly 20 years. The three-disc set continues Goode’s long relationship with the composer's works; his 1993 Nonesuch recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas was nominated for a Grammy and received much critical acclaim.

The New York Times's Peter G. Davis examines both the new collection and the earlier recordings (including what Davis calls "the crown jewel" of the catalog, the aforementioned sonatas) in an in-depth look at the pianist's career and his extensive history with the label, describing it as "a long and productive affiliation with Nonesuch Records that any musician would envy."

While that sort of relationship is one that is more likely to have existed in another era, "Even in those flush earlier days, Mr. Goode would have stood out for his fastidious musicianship, infallible fingers, warming spirit and vital connection to the living traditions set down by his predecessors," writes Davis. "His keyboard personality shines even more brightly in today’s unruly musical world, perhaps in part because he conducts his career in such an orderly, quietly civilized manner. A low-key profile has hardly hampered him."

Goode talks with the writer about his connection with the works of Beethoven and why it took all this time to record the concertos. He credits the particular abilities of the orchestra and its conductor with being an impetus for the decision to finally do so. "I was struck by the extraordinary relationship between [Fischer] and the Budapest Festival Orchestra," Goode explains, "especially the immense vitality of their playing that put such life in every note and with no sense of routine."

With orchestra, conductor, soloist, and longtime Goode producer Max Wilcox on board for the recording, the article looks to the final piece of the equation in Nonesuch Record's president, Robert Hurwitz. "It’s amazing to think of how many important classical recordings made during the last 100 years owe their existence to the vision, enthusiasm, perseverance and clout of a single individual behind the scenes at a record company," Davis concludes. "And that more or less sums up how the Nonesuch catalog came to be."

Read the complete article at nytimes.com.

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Tomorrow night, Richard Goode will perform in concert in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, delving outside the Beethoven repertoire and into works by Bach and Chopin. For program and ticket information, visit carnegiehall.org.

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