Sviatoslav Richter

Sviatoslav Richter: Pianist of the Century

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Dedicated fans of Sviatoslav Richter may already have the performances contained on these nine discs, but any listener unacquainted with the Russian pianist's work could not do better than to start here. Recorded between 1956 and 1962 and released on Deutsche Grammophon between 1957 and 1965, these performances were most Western listeners' first introduction to Richter. The range of repertoire is enormous: from Bach to Prokofiev, with stops along the way for Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and especially Schumann. The range of emotions is equally vast: heroic and lyric, tender and passionate, sensual and cerebral, subtle and virtuosic. The most impressive aspect of Richter's performances, though, is neither the range nor the repertoire, but Richter himself. With his golden tone, coruscating technique, and inspired interpretations, Richter is not only faithful to the spirit of the music, but fulfills it through the medium of his supple, sensitive, and supremely poetic artistic personality. Richter's virtuosity is on display in his blistering account of Schumann's Toccata, his poetry in his lyrical reading of Chopin's Polonaise-Fantaisie, and his warm romanticism in his triumphant interpretation of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto. Though the recordings are antique -- most are monaural and the rest are stereo -- Deutsche Grammophon's remastering makes them as acceptable as possible to listeners raised on digital sound.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:32
Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op. 82
2 2:00
3 1:07 Amazon
4 2:00 Amazon
5 3:17 Amazon
6 1:09 Amazon
7 2:19
8 2:42 Amazon
9 2:10
10 3:40
Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
11 4:08
12 2:49
13 3:18
14 3:44
15 2:05
16 5:20
blue highlight denotes track pick