How many times have these recordings by Sviatoslav Richter of Chopin's Scherzi and selected preludes been issued? Who can know for certain? The Scherzi were recorded in Munich in July 1977 by Ariola-Eurodisc for Mezhdunarodnaya KNIGA and first issued in the West under license by what was then called Columbia Records the same year. The 13 Preludes were recorded in Tokyo and Yokohama in March 1979 by Takashi Wantanabe for Mezhdunarodnaya KNIGA and first issued in the West under license by what was then called Vox Classics in 1982. Since then, the Scherzi have been reissued at least 15 times, and the preludes have been issued at least ten times. As remastered for Regis Records by Paul Arden-Taylor, these are neither the best nor the worst of reissues. They are reasonably clear but too distant and altogether lacking in immediacy. Of course, the performances by Sviatoslav Richter are outstanding. While not perhaps in the same exalted league as his best recordings -- the Scherzi seem somewhat reserved and the preludes seem more than somewhat eccentric -- still, these are Richter performances, and anyone who loves great piano playing will love them.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard