Aldeburgh Festival / Janacek, Schumann, Debussy
“the standard of pianism at Aldeburgh remains stratospherically high. Richard Goode’s recital of Janacek, Schumann, and Debussy bore his customary oracular stamp.”
Michael Church, Independent, June 2014
To open his recital, Richard Goode played four pieces from Janacek’s ‘On an Overgrown Path’ with charm and conviction, making the most of these short pieces… Well known as the Preludes are, they never cease to amaze and delight listeners with their profound originality. Richard Goode displayed exemplary technique and superb clarity of melodic line. He conjured terrifying hurricanes in Le Vent d’Ouest and an almost overpowering sonority in La Cathedrale Engloutie. His quasi guitarra plucks of La serenade interrompue produced an authentic Spanish ambience and the sensuous sway of rhythm in Les Collines d’Anacapri was perfectly captured. In Des pas sur la neige Goode created a cold and compelling musical vista against the dragging footsteps in the snow and there was an almost elemental simplicity and charm to La Fille aux cheveux de lin. The lighter, swifter pieces, Le Vent dans la plaine, La Danse de Puck had an engaging sprightliness and charm and Minstrels rounded off the evening with a delicious burst of humour.”
Thetford & Brandon Times, June 2014
Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara / Beethoven
“It was clear from the outset that this would be an evening of extraordinary immediacy, with the music emerging unadorned, devoid of overt showmanship or empty displays of virtuosity… Listening to this performer, one heard the deep structure within and experienced what the composer referred to in his instructions as “innermost feelings.” Neither fast nor slow, Goode’s playing toyed with the tempo and brought innumerable shades and textures to the notes’ rise and fall.”
Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent, May 2014
Gusman Hall, Miami / Schubert, Janáček, Debussy
“Goode is a stimulating interpreter who puts a personal stamp on everything he plays. There was real authority in the opening chords of the Schubert sonata but Goode held his considerable power in reserve. In a wonderfully varied dynamic palette, the soft lines were particularly warmly etched, the emphatic syncopations and lightness of the second subject fluidly molded…
A virtuosic coda concluded a reading that demonstrated artistry of the most refined order…
Standing ovations brought one more Debussy prelude as an encore. A sweeping reading of Ondine from Book II offered a touch of perfumed sweetness and Goode’s pinpoint trills, a superb final curtain for an afternoon of pianistic mastery.”
Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review, March 2014
Wigmore Hall, London / Schubert, Chopin, Debussy
“Goode was full-toned, spontaneous, almost hearty at times. But there was more character: Puck let fly a rude sense of humour, the girl with the flaxen hair moved with an enticing playfulness, and the minstrels played with abandon, as if they were really enjoying the music.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, February 2014
“In Goode’s hands each emerged as a tightly-wrought entity, heel-clicking, gliding and swooping, and exuberantly full-blooded.”
Michael Church, Independent, February 2014
Salle Pleyel, Paris / Schubert, Chopin, Debussy
“Every concert given by Richard Goode is like grace received and remains etched in the memory. The artist is never content to merely play – he goes further, quite simply transfiguring what he touches.
…with his sublime touch, this performer is unquestionably the master of light. It is miraculously born beneath his fingers and illuminates the works, sculpting phrases whilst also granting them an immaterial clarity.
From the first Schubert Impromptu, the pianist re-examines these well-known works: the brief melody breaks away from the ensemble, constantly returning like a refrain, a prisoner of fruitless developments, astounding the listener. This same intimacy returns in the following impromptu, bathed in diffuse inner light…
The performer’s fluidity and smooth playing achieve the ineffable, ultimately expressing the purity and vulnerability of the composer’s final song.”
Francoise Ferrand, Res Musica, February 2014
Wigmore Hall, London / Beethoven
“No less oracular was Richard Goode’s performance of Beethoven’s late piano music at an equally packed Wigmore Hall. (…) the Beethoven sonata cycle he recorded for Nonesuch in 1993 almost immediately won landmark status. Since then he has deepened and refined his interpretations to a point where they feel definitive. The wild card in this recital was a group of Opus 119 Bagatelles which he invested with a remarkably concentrated intensity; his account of the final sonata trilogy purveyed both exhilarating earthiness and visions of the sublime.”
Michael Church, Independent, June 2013
Konzerthaus Berlin / Beethoven
“The infallible senses of style, the sense of formal architecture, a certain austerity in the absolute clarity of part leading… these are the characteristics that the American “inherited” from his teacher, the great Richard Serkin.
Nothing wants to appear more than it is, nothing is exaggerated for virtuosic effect. Classical proportions determine the naturally flowing tempi, and the dynamics delight with a multiplicity of nuances, especially in the softer ranges, that are quite rare these days. There is a breath of fresh air within these self-determined boundaries.
With a warm sound, Goode shapes the character of the music.
Isabel Herzfeld, Der Tagesspiegel, May 2013
“Here is a pianist who reveals the transcendent dimension of the late sonatas, who allows the time to flow and creates vast space in the sound-world.
Here was a palpable art of interpretation, that allowed one to experience and understand the long-range coherencies [in the music].
This piano recital was emphatic, wise and warmhearted, in which the artist could convey a true dialogue with the works. And not least because Goode accomplished something that contradicts the standard mode of ‘high performance’: he played with the score.”
Martin Wilkening, Berliner Zeitung, May 2013
Carnegie Hall, New York / Beethoven
““Resignation, what a wretched resource! Yet it is all that is left to me,” Beethoven wrote in 1801, despairing at his encroaching deafness and other physical ailments. A sense of resignation and acceptance pervades the triptych of sonatas that he completed in 1822, given majestic, profound readings by the pianist Richard Goode on Wednesday evening at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Goode has been studying these three sonatas since his youth, estimating that he has performed Opus 110 in some 100 concerts. He has also made much-admired recordings on the Nonesuch label.
But this season marks the first time that he has played all three sonatas together. Among the myriad alluring elements of his performance on Wednesday was the sense of architecture, a narrative arc through calm, suffering, conflict and transformation that proved striking in both the individual sonatas and in the program as a whole. Mr. Goode’s playing throughout was organic and inspired, the noble, introspective themes unfolding with a simplicity that rendered them all the more moving…
On Wednesday, Mr. Goode — with his wife, the violinist Marcia Weinfeld, at his side as page turner — produced a glowing, warm sound that traversed the full dynamic spectrum from hushed intimacy to agitated power without ever sounding either contrived or harsh.
Interspersed with the sonatas, whose innovative forms and styles depart from the precedents established by Mozart and Haydn, were selections from Beethoven’s Bagatelles (Op. 119). His Leipzig publisher thought that these elegant miniatures were so trite that no one would believe that Beethoven had composed them, but there was nothing trifling about Mr. Goode’s characterful, witty and virtuosic interpretations.
The melody in the concluding passages of the Sonata Opus 111, which concluded the program, unfolded with radiant grace against Mr. Goode’s pearly trills. The audience quiet and still throughout the evening, applauded eagerly, seeming hopeful for an encore. Mr. Goode offered none, but none was needed — the evening felt perfect and complete just as it was.”
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, May 2013
Town Hall, New York / Recital with Soprano Sarah Shafer
“It is rarely in question who the star of a song recital is. The emerging young soprano Sarah Shafer was accompanied by the distinguished pianist Richard Goode. Solo selections were a nod to Mr. Goode’s renown: two works by Schubert — one of the Klavierstücke and an impromptu — and two Brahms intermezzos, given with both practiced eloquence and unassuming freedom. His playing was polished yet essayistic and almost extemporaneous. Not often does a pianist make the designation of a piece as an impromptu seem so movingly appropriate.”
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, December 2012
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington / Beethoven
“Goode applied his sharpest powers of inquiry to the most elusive music ever written for the instrument (the final three sonatas), and brought the audience into a new place …
Goode is always a pleasure to listen to; the mark of a great artist is that nothing sounds rushed, no matter how fast he plays or how wide the dynamic range. His technique is a model of efficiency…”
Robert Battey, Washington Post, October 2012
Carnegie Hall, New York / Schumann & Chopin
“…anyone who has followed Mr. Goode’s five-decade career knows that a program’s apparent limitations amount to little if he is in an exploratory mood, and more often than not, he is. Here his fluid, often tempestuous performances had the twin virtues of fidelity to the scores and the sense of freshness that comes of an in-the-moment approach to phrasing.
That was especially true of the Chopin works in the second half of the program. Over the last dozen years, Mr. Goode said in a recent interview, he has been especially drawn to Chopin’s distinctive approach to the piano and the spirit of improvisation that his works embody.
He conveyed that quality in his rhythmically restless rendering of the Nocturne No. 16 (Op. 55, No. 2), an impetuous, dramatic reading of the Ballade No. 3 (Op. 47) and a performance of the Scherzo No. 3 (Op. 39) that began stormily and melted into a graceful but assertive account of the choralelike central section, with its layers of sparkling filigree.
And in several waltzes (Op. 64, Nos. 2 and 3, and Op. 34, No. 3), as well as the Mazurka No. 15 (Op. 24, No. 2), which he offered as his first encore, Mr. Goode probed the flexibility of Chopin’s dance rhythms convincingly and affectingly.
Earlier Mr. Goode had lifted the curtain on Schumann’s fantastical inner vision in thoughtfully shaped performances of “Kinderszenen” and “Kreisleriana.” These works describe different universes. In “Kinderszenen” Schumann puts us into a child’s world, and Mr. Goode’s considered phrasing and subtle coloration suited both the painterly surfaces and the frequent temperamental shifts that drive the picturesque miniatures that make up the work. “Kreisleriana,” inspired by the manic protagonist of an E. T. A. Hoffmann novel, is Schumann at his wildest. Mr. Goode’s charged, fiery account illuminated the work’s inner turmoil mainly by characterizing the demons at the heart of it. It was the kind of reading that explained Clara Schumann’s comment to Schumann before their marriage: “Sometimes your music actually frightens me.””
Allan Kozinn, New York Times, April 2012
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley (Cal Performances) / Mozart, Beethoven & Chopin
“Goode is a consummate performer, one whose technique is precise, alert, always eloquent. He’s also an artist of great restraint — uncommonly subtle and charmingly self-effacing. In each performance, he seems utterly inside the music at hand, affording the listener an intimate, insightful glimpse into the composer’s interior world of emotion and ideas.
That sense of intimacy was established in the first moments of Sunday’s wondrous opening performance of Mozart’s Fantasy and Sonata in C Minor, K. 475, followed, without a break, by the composer’s Sonata in C Minor, K. 457. The Fantasy is structured in five large paragraphs, played continuously, and Goode clearly savored the challenges of its rapid passagework, sudden shifts in tempo, and unexpected modulations; the phrasing of the turbulent Piu allegro yielded a world of arresting, kinetic sonorities. Still, what registered most forcefully was Goode’s ability to summon the distinctive qualities of Mozart’s thoughtful inner expression. No other pianist today seems quite as adept at articulating the composer’s light-refracting, time-suspending brilliance and his infinite variety.
Goode made his shift from the sublime, mercurial Mozart to an ebullient performance of Beethoven’s Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3, seem a natural and necessary progression. Goode was the first American pianist to record the complete Beethoven sonatas, and his affinity for this music is simply awe-inspiring. The elegant statements of the opening Allegro movement have rarely emerged with such focus and crisp definition. Goode imparted formal coherence, and propulsive vigor, to the scherzo’s skittering juxtapositions and the menuetto’s rapid-fire effusions. The finale’s burst of ideas — at once richly poetic and fiercely forward-thinking — is enough to overcome most pianists. Goode covered its full spectrum with miraculous precision and expressive flair.
After intermission, and in the encore, Goode turned to Chopin, offering a beguiling sampler of the composer’s solo piano works. He began with the wistful Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2; here, the composer’s broad harmonies suggest an alluringly blended vocal duet. Goode, unlike many of his contemporaries, resists mannerism and avoids exaggeration, and the music sounded all the more penetrating for his restraint.
The Scherzo No.3 in C-sharp Minor, Op.39, was marked by rhythmic assertiveness and keen dynamics, and the Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op.47, elicited tender, silken sonorities. Best of all was a grouping of Chopin waltzes — particularly the Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op.64, No.2. Goode’s performance, delicately phrased and rich in emotional nuance, was pure perfection.”
Georgia Rowe, San Francisco Classical Voice, March 2012
Shriver Hall, Baltimore / Mozart, Beethoven & Chopin
“… a typically eloquent recital by Richard Goode.
Chopin was the focus after intermission. Where some pianists tend to bring out the softer side of the composer's music and others the muscular, Goode managed to honor both.
I loved, too, Goode's encores -- Chopin's C major Mazurka (Op. 24, No. 2), with its piquant twists and turns; and Schumann's "Traumerei," phrased with effortless grace.”
Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, March 2012
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Toronto / Schumann, Brahms & Chopin
“Richard Goode was at the top of his legendary game on Tuesday, when he played for a packed house at Music Toronto.
Goode’s performance introduced the qualities that would hold us rapt for the rest of the evening: an effortlessly singing tone and transparent textures; rhythm that was flexible but unfussy, a beautiful balance between romantic reflectiveness and improvisatory freshness.
Here’s hoping for a return engagement soon.”
Tamara Bernstein, Globe and Mail, March 2012
Symphony Center, Chicago / Schumann, Brahms & Chopin
“Richard Goode’s pianism once again shows the art that conceals art…
Richard Goode is a pianist’s pianist, a keyboard artist of insight and refinement, and the polar opposite of those young firebrands who use the music primarily as a vehicle for aggrandizing, self-serving display.
Sunday afternoon the American pianist offered a program of cornerstone repertoire that showcased his distinctive and selfless art to a large turnout at Symphony Center.
Goode opened the program with Schumann’s Kinderszenen. To these fanciful yet never naive evocations of childhood scenes, Goode brought just the right atmospheric touch. The opening “Of Foreign Lands” was given a gracious simplicity, and the playful expression of these miniatures was finely judged throughout with a mix of light caprice and nostalgic ache.
The pianist is often at his finest in Brahms’ late works, and so it proved again in the Seven Fantasies, Op. 116. Goode assayed the storm-tossed drama and bravura of the Capriccios with all due dexterity. But it was the intermezzi’s predominant ruminative expression that really shone, rendered with a gentle musing and tender, unsentimental introspection that felt just right.
The shortish second half was devoted entirely to Chopin, and Goode’s performances of the Polish composer’s music was truly the art that conceals art. The Nocturne in E flat, Op. 55, No.2, blended strength and nobility and a set of three waltzes benefited from freshness and urgency with an especially playful, scintillating account of the Waltz in F major, Op.34, No.3.
For all his tonal refinement, Goode can throw off the fireworks with the best of them, and the bravura pages of the Scherzo No.3 and Ballade No.3 were dispatched with a fizzing virtuosity that was thrilling in its abandon.
For his encores, Goode offered an elegant rendering of Chopin’s Mazurka in C Major, Op. 24, No. 2 and a wonderfully witty and feline account of the Scherzo from Beethoven’s Sonata No. 18 in E-flat Major, Op. 31, No.3.”
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, March 2012
International Piano Series - Royal Festival Hall, London / Schumann & Chopin
“Richard Goode shared the stage with a crowd of eager music students watching his every move. And in his lovely treatment of Schumann’s Kinderszenen such close attention was merited, because he made the piano sing with a sweet artlessness, establishing an intimate and confidential tone, which he maintained throughout. The keyboard was touched rather than struck, the tone exquisitely controlled.”
Michael Church, International Piano, May-June 2012
“At more than 2,500 seats, the Royal Festival Hall is a challenging venue for a solo piano recital. In the winter half of this year’s International Piano Series only Richard Goode is booked there, while the others have opted for the smaller Queen Elizabeth Hall next door – an irony when Goode is the last pianist alive to indulge in the kind of outgoing, knock-’em-dead playing that a hall of this size would seem to demand.
Now in his late 60s, Goode has risen to the top on his own terms. His favoured area of the repertoire is the classical era, where he is regarded especially highly as a Beethoven interpreter, and when he ventures further afield, he takes the mantle of a serious classicist with him.
For his recital on Sunday afternoon he offered one half Schumann, the other half Chopin. A few years ago Lang Lang played solo Schumann in this hall and his noisy, all-out assault on the music turned it into an incomprehensible gabble. There could hardly be a pianist at a further extreme to that than Goode, who started with a performance of Kinderszenen so understated that he might have been playing for himself alone. In the more heated emotions of Kreisleriana, exactly the kind of Schumann where Lang Lang had torn passion to shreds, Goode scrupulously kept the interweaving parts clear-headed, the intellect rigorously holding off any temptation to play the virtuoso.
The shorter pieces by Chopin were on a bigger scale, but not by much. The Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op.55 No.2, projected its singing lines with a little more intent. In the Scherzo No.3 the moments of introspection made more impact than Goode’s effortful double octaves. A group of three waltzes was perfectly contained. Even in the Third Ballade, where the music offers varied opportunities to show off, every invitation was eschewed in favour of story-telling that sang as artlessly as a Schubert ballad – an extraordinary act of denial, though an interesting change after all those pianists who like to play Chopin on steroids.
What we really want is for Goode to give a private recital for each of us in his drawing-room. Could the Royal Festival Hall please be shrunk to fit?”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, February 2012
“The American pianist Richard Goode doesn’t give many recitals, but his uniquely personal vision ensures that each one is special.
His Brahms and Beethoven are magisterial, but what draws the crowd is his singular aura, and the intensely-pondered quality of his playing.
Here he opened with Schumann’s Kinderszenen, thirteen short pieces in which the world of childhood is evoked from the perspective of maturity, with the intention of conveying, as Schumann put it to his young bride Clara, an atmosphere which was ‘peaceful, tender, and happy, like our future’. And so it was as Goode launched into the first piece, ‘Of strange lands and people’. He made the piano sing with a sweet artlessness, establishing an intimate and confidential tone which he then maintained throughout. ‘Important event’ felt important only in a play-acting sense, ‘Reverie’ was not over-dramatised, and the rocking-horse knight rode out bravely; ‘Child falling asleep’ suggested folds within folds, and in the concluding ‘The poet speaks’ that poet was indubitably Goode himself. The keyboard was touched rather than struck, and the tone wonderfully controlled.
Then came the Kreisleriana suite, a more showy and extravert work, but with Goode this too had a lovely subtlety. He opened extremely fast, projecting a relatively small sound with such expressiveness that one seemed to be hearing this complex work for the first time; conceiving its episodic structure in very long spans, he gave it unusual cohesion.”
Michael Church, Independent, February 2012
Perth Concert Hall, Scotland / Schumann & Chopin
“The doyen of American pianists Richard Goode played a fascinating programme of Schumann and Chopin in Perth Concert Hall on Friday.
To describe Goode as American and a pianist is perhaps true, but his playing showed him to be much more – a complete musician: in him the aspects of thought and technical technique were thoroughly united.
His first half was devoted to two major works by Robert Schumann. He began with Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) Op.15. In his hands these showed themselves to be miniatures only in length, the 13 pieces taking not many more minutes to perform. He opened up Schumann’s world right from the start of Of Strange Lands and People lyrically at home with the voicing of individual lines, their rhythms and combinations, above all the sense of fantasy. He showed nimbleness in Catch and encouraged a warm tone from the superb Perth Concert Hall piano in Happy Enough. He had a nice ceremonial touch for Important Event leading into a deeply felt Träumerei (Dreaming) where the melodies seemed unbound to the barlines. […] He was nicely playful in Knight of the Rocking Horse, with the deepest emotion kept for the envoi The Poet Speaks.
Kreisleriana Op.16 which followed had all of these virtues plus a touch of insanity, suitable for Hoffmann’s character Johannes Kreisler, the subject of these eight character pieces. It did have a mad start, but with a wonderful lyrical riposte the supporting harmonies well brought out. The third piece contrasted the rhythmic outer sections with a rolling legato where Schumann’s lines were beautifully integrated. The abrupt return emphasized darkness. The sixth piece began with chivalrous Romanticism, the seventh with almost psychotic rushing. All was vividly portrayed in this too rarely played work.
One of Charles Ives’ odder comments was that “we always tend to think of Chopin in a skirt.” Not as played by Richard Goode! In no way denying his insight and supreme sensitivity there was vigour and dramatic power. The Nocturne Op.55 No.2 was forthright and lyrical, but with too much light for a night piece, notwithstanding the sensitive fioriture at the end. The Scherzo No.3 had an ominous introduction to the dramatic main section. The big tune was exactly that, really impressive. There were intentionally disquieting passages and a hurtling coda leading to a tragic finish. The Ballade No.3 had equally strong playing, its central section playful yet with underlying grandeur, calling magnificent sounds from the instrument. Between these two were three waltzes all flighted with a nice lilt and sprung rhythms.
Recalled repeatedly to the platform he delighted his entranced audience with a Mazurka, Op.24 No.2, which glinted and flashed and, returning to Schumann, a piece from his Davidsbündlertänze of fine lyricism.”
Ian Stuart-Hunter, Perthshire Advertiser, February 2012
“When I was young I was given a recording of Richard Goode playing Beethoven's late piano sonatas. Even repertoire aside, it wasn't the obvious choice for a child; Goode's style is anything but flashy and, though at that point he would have been just middle-aged, his emotional engagement has always seemed more that of a knowing veteran than a fresh-eyed explorer. But those discs had a huge impact on me. Mostly, they proved that detachment can be as powerful a tool as high drama. At 68, Goode is the statesman of American piano playing, and still his playing eschews predictability. With that characteristic detachment, this recital posed surprises and challenges in the most well-trodden of repertoire.
Schumann's Kinderszenen was treated with breezy affection – more like browsing through a picture book than reliving childhood memories – while Kreisleriana was muscular and often brusque. Goode's tone tends to be more bright than conventionally beautiful, favouring sparse voicings that can sound steely. This was Schumann the modern-day realist, not Schumann the whimsical dreamer.
When it comes to Chopin, whose music made up the programme's second half, Goode's refusal to turn maudlin makes his interpretations remarkable. The Scherzo in C sharp minor Op 39 was a force of stoicism, and the set of waltzes (A flat major Op 64 No 3; C sharp minor Op 64 No 2 and F major Op 34 No 3) wore their triple-time swing lightly, every note making logical sense next to its neighbour. It's curious that Goode murmurs along at the keyboard, but I like that he does; it's the one personal indulgence in an otherwise sleek and deeply considered performance.”
Kate Molleson, Guardian, February 2012
Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra / Avery Fisher Hall / Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 / Louis Langrée
“The evening was dominated by Richard Goode at the keyboard. In an exquisitely nuanced performance of the joyful concerto, he sustained warmth and tension, also beguiling restraint within a persuasive aura of spontaneity. Never succumbing to interpretive flash or indulgent mannerism, he savoured precious detail here and, in comparable, compatible measure, a grand, heroic line there. Ever subtle and ever supple, he maintained a fragile fusion of virtuosity and introspection.”
Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, five stars, July 2014
Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 / Herbert Blomstedt
“Goode has a fragile touch, initially prompting slight fears that he might not always carry over the relatively numerous orchestra. However, this impression quickly evaporated as the pianist captivated the audience with his nuanced phrasing and attentive interplay. Goode has mastered an intimate, somehow ‘correct’ Mozartian tone which most likely cannot be taught.”
Der Tagesspiel, June 2014
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 / Sir Mark Elder
“Richard Goode was the patrician soloist, reminding us why he’s widely admired as one of the foremost Mozart pianists America has produced. Typically, there was enormous musical intelligence at work in his playing, along with a grace and refinement, and purling tone, that connected long phrases with the utmost fluency and musical understanding. Everything was clearly thought out yet nothing felt less than spontaneous.
In short, you got the sense of an interpreter who sees the composer whole, who can balance the high spirits and introspection that make the A major so treasurable among the great Mozart piano concertos.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, April 2014
Marlboro Music Festival, Vermont / Beethoven: Choral Fantasy
“Richard Goode, one of the festival’s two current co-artistic directors and one of the world’s pre-eminent Beethoven’s pianists, was the able soloist Sunday, playing masterfully with passion and expertise.”
Jim Lowe, Times Argus, August 2013
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra / Schumann: Piano Concerto
Carnegie Hall, New York
“…on Saturday evening at Carnegie Hall this conductorless orchestra teamed up with an old friend, the pianist Richard Goode, who joined the players in a lucid performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto…
Schumann wrote the concerto as a vehicle for his wife, Clara, a star pianist, and while there are plenty of virtuosic passages and an overall expansive emotional sweep, it’s also an intimate work. The relationship between soloist and orchestra is particularly close: here, without a conductor to mediate, it found an ideal expression.
Mr. Goode displayed his characteristic attention to nuances of affect and colour delivered in a communicative style of playing, but much of the time his piano was a mere partner in a chamber music ensemble of equals. The symbiotic relationship was particularly evident in the slow movement’s rising and descending scales, shared between soloist and orchestra, which require a little rubato to give them meaning. In these tiny moments of stolen time all players seemed not only to listen intently, but to telepathically anticipate one another’s intentions as well.”
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, March 2013
Beethoven: The Complete Sonatas [Nonesuch]
“Get it. For life, it will help you very much. Get old with it, it will most likely just get better every year. It's my favorite life soundtrack, no words needed.”
Ori Kaplan, Dusted Magazine, January 2011
Budapest Festival Orchestra (Fischer) / Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos [Nonesuch]
“With a new set of concerto recordings, ever-reliable pianist Richard Goode returns to Beethoven, the composer with whom he is most identified.
In 1993, the release of Goode's complete set of Beethoven sonatas created something of a sensation, almost immediately establishing itself as a must-have version of the bedrock works.
Teaming with this fine Hungarian orchestra, Goode clearly hopes to do the same thing with the piano concertos, and he certainly comes close, displaying the intelligence, insight and profound expressiveness for which he is well known.”
Kyle MacMillan, The Denver Post, ‘The year’s best discs’, December 2009
“…a supple, measured lyricism that avoids selfindulgent extremes, an equipoise that the veteran Goode, as a successor to Rudolf Serkin, has developed entirely on his own. No one will be surprised by the humane and poetic qualities the pianist brings to the meditative Fourth Concerto, but in the concluding “Emperor” Concerto Goode offers truly revelatory playing, turning that shameless virtuoso showcase into a vibrant, three-dimensional creation.”
Russell Platt, The New Yorker, September 2009
“…the pianist revered even by pianists.
Goode’s special gift has always been his selfless artistry: his penetrating intellect, warm heart and nimble fingers are entirely placed at the composers’ service.
Goode knows just how to balance and weigh conflicting elements: argument and repose, dark and light, struggle and wit […] Every landmark phrase or interjection pops up freshly felt, as though newly composed.
Throughout, the recording is warm and natural. Buy with confidence.”
Geoff Brown, Times, five stars, ‘CD of the Week’, May 2009
“If you're in the mood to hear five of the greater piano concertos ever written […] then Richard Goode's your man. Oh, there are other pianists who have climbed this mountain, but of the living practicioners, Goode stands alone. He's given the bulk of his creative life to Beethoven. And it shows.
I can only echo the reviews I've seen — Goode understands Beethoven, has absorbed this work so fully that, when he plays, it almost feels as if he's composing or improvising.
As legendary as those recordings are, I prefer Goode's edition of Beethoven's Complete Piano Concertos.
If Richard Goode's name is not familiar, that's almost his design. He's a scholar of the music he loves, not a brash showman — he was 47 before he gave his first solo recital in Carnegie Hall. He plays, he teaches, he reads. And the deeper the dive, the richer the music. It seems right that he was the first American-born pianist to record all the Beethoven sonatas.
The drama of Goode's playing is that he reduces the distance between the listener and the composer. He's not looking for fresh interpretations. He knows what's there. I find his description of Beethoven admirable: "Beethoven's music is immensely powerful and positive. It is completely satisfying. Beethoven's music is like a meal made up of all the basic food groups. There is nothing left out.
Like Beethoven, Goode has Big Ideas and Grand Goals."Music takes all the possible feelings we have," he says. "And by somehow ordering them and making something meaningful out of them, music creates a sense of harmony that maybe we can assimilate and carry away."”
Jesse Kornbluth, The Huffington Post, May 2009
“A landmark recording of the Beethoven concertos. Goode makes the familiar sound unexpectedly fresh. He plays without mannerism, without stylistic quirks, without making anything sound predictable.”
Financial Times, five stars, May 2009
“…this is going to become one of the benchmark recordings of these Beethoven masterpieces.
All too often with concerto recordings, a star soloist is let down by a rather lacklustre backing band. That's certainly not the case here: the taut, robust playing of the Budapest Festival Orchestra would be a joy to listen to on its own! Add in Goode's joyous, melodic inventiveness and you get a boxed set which sheds new light on old favourites.
…one of the best new CDs of the year so far.”
Sam Jackson (Executive Producer) on Classic FM, April 2009
“… Goode brings his precise touch to these five works, letting the lyricism sing out while keeping the majestic architecture always clearly in view.”
Michael Church, Independent on Sunday, five stars, February 2009
“Goode plays as if he’s submitted each note to hours of careful cognition, yet sounds as spontaneous as a genius improviser. A consistently exemplary set.”
Classic FM Magazine, five stars, February 2009
“Goode is a model of self-restraint: nothing is interposed between the composer’s intentions and the listener.”
Independent, five stars, February 2009
Mozart (Works for Solo Piano) [Nonesuch]
“…this magnificent CD from one of today’s greatest (and most modest) of pianists. Goode’s way with this music has a rightness and a poise that leaves you with the feeling that it simply can’t be done better.”
James Jolly, Gramophone, ‘Editor’s Choice’, June 2005
“For those who have never heard Richard Goode in concert but treasure his sequence of Mozart concerto recordings, there has been a mounting hunger to hear him in Mozart’s music for solo piano. Their wait is over. His latest Nonesuch release will not disappoint […] As ever with this artist, every work emerges as freshly as though it were newly minted, without a scintilla of idiosyncrasy or mannerism of any kind. This is a pianist who puts the listener immediately (apparently exclusively, or so it feels) in touch with the composer himself. It is a part of his immense sophistication, and a part of his greatness, that he plays with an often transfiguring simplicity achieved by very few […] Mr Goode’s humility is just right, and his subtelty is of a kind, and of an order, that can elude but all connaisseurs. Yet he is among the least exclusive of pianists. The warmth and generosity of his personality, felt by audiences all over the world, is evident in everything he does- butit eludes analysis. You just have to listen.”
Piano, May/June 2005
“One of the finest living players of Mozart, veteran American pianinst Richar Goode brings a wealth of experience and insight to this eclectic programme, dominated by reading of the A minor and F major sonatas full of fresh detail and tender touches…No matter how many times youy’ve heard these works, you will find something new and affecting in Goode’s noble interpretations.”Back to Top
Anthony Holden, Observer, ‘Classical CD of the week’, May 2005