This is the largest, most comprehensive, and most valuable collection currently available of the playing of one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Czech Radio seems to have recorded virtually everything Richter played during his frequent visits to Prague during a period of 34 years. Many of the highlights of the pianist's vast repertoire are included here, including 10 Beethoven Sonatas, two Concertos, and the "Diabelli" Variations, along with major works of Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, and Scriabin.
Sony Classcial celebrates the art of Sviatoslav Richter (1995-1997) – one of the 20th century’s greatest pianists – with the first-ever release of his complete Columbia Masterworks and RCA Victor live and studio recordings in an 18 CD original jacket edition, underneath Richter’s legendary five October 1960 Carnegie Hall recitals.
…Although little known in the West, never having toured or recorded there, Sofronitsky was held in the highest regard in his native land. Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels looked up to Sofronitsky as their master, and famously, when Sofronitsky once drunkenly proclaimed that Richter was a genius, in return Richter toasted him and proclaimed him a god. Upon hearing of Sofronitsky's death, Gilels was reputed to have said that "the greatest pianist in the world has died."…
A generous and adventurous collection of piano concertos played by the Russian Giant of the Keyboard, Sviatoslav Richter. Next to standard concert repertoire some novelties, like the Franck, Britten, Berg and Hindemith works. Famous conductors like Evgeny Svetlanov, Kyril Kondrashin and the recently deceased Rudolf Barshai (his favourite conductor).
From the notes: "It's hard to believe he's dead - hard to believe that such a mountain of a musician, who commanded the piano and its literature like few others in our time, who was a paragon of artistic integrity admired and loved by audiences and colleagues alike, could turn out to gbe mortal after all. But only the man has left us: Sviatoslav Richter the artists, for collectors of classical recordings at least, has never been more alive, more present on the music scene that he is today." Notes by Kevin Bazzana
Almost four hours of music constitutes exceptional value especially when, tucked away among a selection of Mazurkas, is Chopin's early "Variations on a German National Air". Vásáry charms you into wondering why it is so rarely heard.