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
Even though Franz Joseph Haydn is widely credited as the father of the string quartet, the Casal Quartet makes a startling claim that the honor may belong to Franz Xaver Richter, whose seven String Quartets, Op. 5, seem to have determined the character of the genre, from their first performance by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf's quartet in 1757. Richter's quartets preceded Haydn's and Boccherini's earliest efforts by several years, suggesting that they were likely influential. Furthermore, the sophistication and polish of his Op. 5 suggests that he may well have composed other such quartets, though if he did, they are lost.
This compilation features recordings made between 1950 and 1958 and “accompanies” the legendary pianist on his way to the Mount Olympus of piano playing. The repertoire ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach over German classicism and romanticism (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann) to that gathering of great Russian composers – Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.