Sviatoslav Richter - RICHTER PLAYS MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 1, 5 & 18

Sviatoslav Richter - RICHTER PLAYS MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 1, 5 & 18

ClassicalMusic-Concert - Sviatoslav Richter - Mozart: Piano Concertos No.1, 5 & 18
DivX 640 x 480 | 84:49 | 427 MB (5*85.4)

Recorded on March 3. 1994 at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan - his last Concert in Japan


Sviatoslav Richter - RICHTER PLAYS MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 1, 5 & 18

Sviatoslav Richter - RICHTER PLAYS MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 1, 5 & 18

Sviatoslav Richter - RICHTER PLAYS MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 1, 5 & 18



    W.A.Mozart

    Concertos for Piano and Orchestra

    No. 1 in F major K.37
    No. 5 in D major K.175
    No.18 in B flat major K.456


    Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
    Rudolf Barshai (conductor)
    Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra





Review: by Christopher Field
Emil Gilels made the famous comment to his admirers after he was allowed to play in the West, wait until you hear Richter. That took until 1960 when he was 45 years of age before he did indeed take the public and his musician colleagues by storm. He was a shy, diffident man, unaccountably nervous when playing in public, but whose sound remains unique to this day. He was almost as bad as Michelangeli for cancelling concerts at the last minute and there were several works which he declined to play, such as Beethoven's Emperor and Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto, or even complete sets of a composer's works. His choice of conductor as accompanist was soon whittled down to two, Benjamin Britten and Rudolf Barshai. The former was not only a personal friend but also the provider of the opportunity to perform chamber music from piano duos to concertos at Aldeburgh. This gives a clue to the choice of three Mozart concertos here for that composer was not one readily associated with Richter (though he also recorded Nos.22 in Eb K.482 and 25 in C K.503), let alone such early works. These concertos were written when Mozart was eleven, seventeen and twenty-eight respectively, so considering his brief life they represent all but his most mature years. The first concerto is a particular delight, tuneful from start to finish (but then what of Mozart isn't?) and innocently precocious. The music all speaks for itself, but listen out for delicious horn and woodwind playing by this Japanese orchestra. The sound is a little over-bright and resonant but Richter's playing is clean, incisive and lyrical. The absence of a cadenza in the finale of No.5 leaves an unwelcome hole but otherwise these are revelatory performances. The title The Last Concert is somewhat misleading for Richter lived another four years, a more accurate description would be his Last Recorded Concert with Orchestra. He was a deeply sensitive artist, intense in approach and a visionary who now is sorely missed, and the like of which will probably never be seen or heard again.


Sviatoslav Richter - an introduction to his life and work
( by Paul Geffen )
Sviatoslav Richter, widely regarded as one of the finest Russian pianists of the twentieth century, was born in Zhitomir, in the Ukraine, on March 20, 1915. His father, Theophile, was an organist and gave the young Sviatoslav his early musical training. Richter’s mother, Anna, was a talented artist who loved music and was related to the Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. The young Richter was essentially self-taught and developed his exceptional technique by playing whatever music he liked. By the age of eight he was playing opera scores, including the music of Richard Wagner. He had the ability to memorize any music at sight. Richter grew up in Odessa, where his father taught at the Conservatory. Also growing up in Odessa at the same time were Emil Gilels and David Oistrakh, who would later become Richter’s chamber-music partner. During these years he was a repetiteur, or rehearsal pianist, in Odessa. His debut as a soloist came on February 19, 1934, at the Odessa House of Engineers. The program included the Chopin Ballade no. 4, Polonaise-fantaisie, and E Major Scherzo, as well as a selection of Nocturnes, Etudes, and Preludes, all difficult pieces. The recital was a great success and Richter’s career as virtuoso was under way. In 1937 Richter left Odessa for Moscow to study with the great pianist and pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus. Richter did not take the entrance exam at the Conservatory. He simply asked Neuhaus to teach him. Neuhaus listened to his playing and said, "Here is the pupil for whom I have waited all my life. In my opinion, he is a genius." Neuhaus declared that he had nothing to teach Richter but accepted him as a pupil anyway. On November 26, 1940, while still a student at Moscow Conservatory, Richter made his Moscow debut. Here he gave the first public performance of the Prokofiev Sonata No. 6 and made a highly favorable impression on both the audience and the composer. When Prokofiev completed his Seventh Sonata in 1942, he gave it to Richter for the premiere. Richter learned the piece in only four days, and performed it the following January. Richter also gave the first performances of Prokofiev’s Eighth and Ninth Sonatas, the last of which was dedicated to Richter. Richter’s first competition victory came in 1945, in the All-Union Contest of Performers. The jury was headed by Dmitri Shostakovich and included Gilels. Richter took first prize. Shostakovich later wrote: "Richter is an extraordinary phenomenon. The enormity of his talent staggers and enraptures. All the phenomena of musical art are accessible to him." Richter went on the win the Stalin Prize in 1949, as well as every kind of official and unofficial recognition from the Soviet government. In 1945 Richter was accompanist to the Russian soprano Nina Dorliak in a program that included songs by Rimsky-Korsakov and Prokofiev. This was the first meeting in an association that would last the rest of their lives. Richter and Dorliak were never officially married, but they were constant companions. She was the practical counterbalance to his impulsive nature. She would wind his watch for him, remind him of appointments, and manage his professional commitments. While a juror at the First Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 in Moscow, Richter was so impressed with Van Cliburn’s playing that he awarded Cliburn one hundred points out of a possible ten. Cliburn won, but Richter was never asked to sit on a jury again. Listeners in the West had their first opportunity to hear Richter through recordings in the 1950s, and his reputation among the cognoscenti grew quickly. When Gilels toured the U.S. in 1955 his response to critics who praised his performances was: "Wait until you hear Richter!" The great impresario Sol Hurok tried to arrange a tour, but it was a few more years before the Soviet government would permit it. During the 1950s Richter toured the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, but it was not until May 1960 that he was allowed to travel to the West, and then only as far as Helsinki. Five months later he made his U.S. debut in Chicago. He played the Brahms Second Concerto, with Erich Leinsdorf conducting. A recording was made the following day, which remains in the catalog. His New York debut consisted of a series of seven recitals in ten days at Carnegie Hall in October 1960. The leading piano teacher at the Juilliard School, Rosina Lhevinne, praised it: "Richter is an inspired poet of music - an exceptional phenomenon of the twentieth century." Richter quickly was established in the first rank of performers and was very much in demand for recitals and recordings. He toured the world and performed with major orchestras, but soon decided that he did not want to continue this life style. It was against his nature to make so many commitments years in advance. He preferred to follow his impulse and explore new repertoire. In 1964 Richter and EMI recording producer Jacques Leiser established an annual festival, the Fetes Musicales en Touraine at Meslay, near Tours. Richter would spend every summer in the French countryside and give many concerts with fellow musicians, including Benjamin Britten, David Oistrakh, and Pierre Fournier. Richter loved France and spent thirty summers there. In addition to his career as pianist, Richter pursued painting. He produced many splendid watercolors. He also made one appearance as conductor, in 1952. This was the result of a minor injury to a finger. Richter was afraid that he would never play piano again and studied conducting for some weeks. The finger recovered quickly, and after one performance, the Prokofiev Symphony-Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich, Richter returned to the keyboard. He loved the operas of Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi, and often played them on the piano for friends. He disliked the telephone because he could not see the person he was talking to. He also disliked airplanes and preferred to travel by rail or car. But he loved to travel, and in 1986 he set out by car from Moscow to Vladivostok, on the Pacific, and gave concerts in many small towns along the way. During his later years he acquired a reputation for canceling engagements at the last minute, and for playing on very short notice, almost on a whim. In fact, Richter followed his muse and lived a precarious life style. When he needed money he would give a concert. For most of his life, Richter was an excellent sight-reader and could immediately play pieces he had never seen or heard. After 1980, following an embarrassing memory lapse, he almost always played from the score. In his last years he would go so far as to have all the lights in the recital hall turned off, except for a small lamp on the music stand, so the audience would be completely in the dark. This served to concentrate the listener’s mind on the music. Richter’s last concert was in Lubeck, Germany, at the end of March 1995. He was eighty years old and in poor health. On the program were three Haydn Sonatas and the Beethoven Variations of Max Reger. Richter died in Moscow on August 1, 1997.

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