P0091. SVIATOSLAV RICHTER: Robert & Clara Schumann Recital, incl. the Piano Quintet in E-flat (w.Borodin String Quartet), the latter from 31 Dec., 1985, Never Before Released; w.NINA DORLIAC: Clara Schumann Songs. (Canada) Doremi DHR-7786, all Live Performances, 1948-85. Final Sealed Copy! - 723724019225
"This is the seventh volume of archival treasures by the great Sviatoslav Richter, in state of the art audio restoration. Considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, Svaiatoslav Richter was known for his virtuosic technique, vast repertoire, and the depth of his interpretations. The eminent Borodin String Quartet is also featured here as well as Richter's long time partner, Soprano Nina Dorliac. The cornerstone of this release is Schumann's Quintet for piano and strings in E flat major, Op. 44, which was recorded in Moscow in 1985 and receives here its first release ever. Also receiving its premiere release is his 1980 recording of Schumann's Fantasie in C major Op. 17."
"There were quite a number of great pianists in the Twentieth Century. There are even great pianists in the Twenty-First Century. But Richter stands alone, the purity and passion of his devotion to music, of his unique genius, obvious in every note. This was a man who said, in all modesty, just play the notes on the page. Yet he was a man able to transmit the spiritual essence of music, a man able to leap the chasm between self and other, between aesthetics and life. What a tale he might have told were he inclined to the verbal. But he was not. His comments about his music making were most often along the lines of, ‘I played well’, or, ‘I played poorly’. Neuhaus instantly recognized him, his first true genius pupil, when Richter arrived at the Moscow Conservatory at the unusually old age of 22. ‘He makes a nearly perfect interpretation as soon as he sees a work. I have never seen any other pianist that has wider artistic horizon than him’. But I don’t imagine Richter cared one way or the other. The music was all that ever mattered.
Someone described Richter as a sort of chameleon, taking on the hues of the music he’s performing. This is apt. I remember the first time I heard him play Grieg’s Lyric Pieces. It is the sweetest, simplest, most honest and heart felt playing of this wonderful music, and this from the man I had always considered the greatest Beethoven exponent on record. It was the same with Bach’s 'Well Tempered Clavier’. And with Schubert’s sonatas: absolute truthfulness to the music. Can you imagine a chef who is a master of every cuisine?
As for the music, he makes one use words like ‘greatest’. He washes away considerations and preconceptions through the sheer power and truthfulness of his playing. It is particularly difficult talking about a Richter performance. I recall a Russian expert speaking of Richter in terms of a spiritual teacher. Yes. That is closer to the truth than anything I’ve said.”
- Russell Lichter, THE STEREO TIMES, Jan., 2005