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The Art of Sviatoslav Richter, tribute by Corrado Grandis

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    Novità editoriali nel Centenario della Nascita: dall'Ungheria un libro di lettere

    Egy barátság levelei

    Szvjatoszlav Richter és Nyina Dorliak levelei Fejér Pálhoz 1954-1997 


    My Dear Friend Doct. Judit Topal, Budapest, write:

    I am glad to inform you, that a new book containing the correspondance of Sviatoslav Richter, Nina Dorliac and Pál Fejér (late director of the Hungarian Opera House), 170 letters and postcards mostly in facsimile has been issued at last. It is a bilingual volume in Russian and Hungarian and can be ordered at Editor Rózsavölgyi, ( rozsavolgyi@... ) if anyone of you is interested in.
    Repeated thanks are due to Corrado Grandis for his helpful assistance in the past six years. Best wishes to you all,
    Judit Topal, Budapest

     

    Kiadó: Rózsavölgyi És Társa Kft.
    EAN (vonal) kód: 9786158007139
    Terjedelem: 240
    Kötés: Keménytáblás
    ÁFA kulcs: 5%
    Kiadás éve: 2015
    ISBN: 9786158007139
    Megjelenés dátuma: 2015-06-30 00:00:00




    Zoltán Kocsis recensisce:
     

    Idestova két évtizede lesz, hogy Szvjatoszlav Tyeofilovics Richter teremtő szellemének vulkánja kialudt. De miért is vulkán? Mert talán a legjobban ezzel a szóval lehet jellemezni azt az eruptív energiát, amely ugyan nem tart az idők végeztéig, de amíg működik, addig válogatás nélkül minden, méhében rejlő anyagot a felszínre dobál, átadva azokat egyéb, a végső átalakulást elősegítő természeti folyamatoknak. Ritka - s az idő előrehaladtával egyre ritkább - a jelenség, ami Richter művészetében megtestesült: az ösztönös ráérzésből fakadó őszinte megrendülés, párosulva a kinyilatkoztatás azonnali igényével. Ezt az emberi habitust, ezt a művészi attitűdöt tükrözi annak a 170 darabból álló levélgyűjteménynek minden sora, amely most először kerül az olvasók elé, s amelynek egy részét Nyina Lvovna Dorliak, Richter életének meghatározó személyisége (társa, kísérője, kamarapartnere, ápolója) írta. Dokumentálja mindenek felett a hitet, ami töretlenül végigkíséri a kezdeti sikereket, a diadal éveit és jellemzően, az életpálya leszálló ágában sem tűnik el. Megdöbbentő és elgondolkodtató adalék mindahhoz a csodához, amit a 20. század talán legkiemelkedőbb előadóművésze életében létrehozott. Ugyanakkor követendő példa azoknak, akik nem sajnálnak semmiféle áldozatot, ha a muzsika legbelső titkainak megismeréséről van szó. Szelíd figyelmeztetés a Richtert és művészetét felületesen megítélők számára s kemény lecke az alázatot és lelkesedést hírből sem ismerőknek. Kocsis Zoltán 

     

    Disponibile in Lira.hu a 15 Euro circa (4792 FT) ed anche in altri rivenditori ungheresi

    Lettere di Judit nel Blog













     


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    Rarità Video (amatoriale)
    R i c h t e r   and   K a r a j a n 

    Posted in YouTube channel by Judit Tópal



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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

     K i r i l l   K o n d r a š i n
    "U n   f e n o m e n o   u n i c o"



    [♢]

    Il suo effetto magnetico sul pubblico è davvero sbalorditivo. Potrei citare pochissimi grandi musicisti, tra quelli che ho avuto l'opportunità d'incontrare (Michelangeli, in primo luogo), capaci in tal modo di attirare gli ascoltatori.

    [♢]

    Per un direttore d'orchestra collaborare con Richter è molto facile. E non perché suona "a tempo", ed è facile da "catturare", ma perché ė sempre molto chiaro e consapevole di ciò che vuole - da se stesso e dall'orchestra -, è in grado di spiegare esattamente di che cosa ha bisogno, e far figurare le loro parti. Dai mie incontri con Richter ho imparato molto sentendo il suo "laboratorio", preparando l'opera.

    Dal mio punto di vista, Richter è un musicista poliedrico.

    Il suo dominio in stili così eterogenei destano ammirazione. Ho potuto collaborare con lui in varia musica, stilisticamente molto diversa, e sempre con appropriatezza artistica. Ricordo la sua performance del Quinto Concerto di Saint-Saëns -  la musica mi sembrava un po''vaporosa'. Per Richter, era invece immaginifica, e fu in questo modo che ci venimmo a capo. In particolare, fu un suo quadro che ci sembrava molto interessante e Medio-Orientale (il compositore aveva trascritto la parte orchestrale poco dopo la sua visita in Egitto), con quelle argute modulazioni scritte in partitura, con alcuni episodi politonali che anticipano il Bolero di Ravel, la sua interpretazione faceva in quel momento dimenticare le qualità intrinseche della musica.

    [♢]

    Riassumendo, ci tengo a sottolinearlo, Richter ė un fenomeno assolutamente unico. Francamente, nel corso degli anni la sua maturità artistica é diventata ancora più suadente.


     



    Pubblicato sulla rivista "Musica sovietica", del 1975, № 7.

    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. Traduzione non professionale dal russo di C.G.

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    N i k o l a i   L u g a n s k y

    Sviatoslav Teofilovič aveva un effetto magnetico molto forte, ipnotico...




    ...Richter, dal vivo l'ho sentito più spesso, ad esempio al suo concerto di Amsterdam, dove ha suonato cinque Sonate di Beethoven ↩, o i Préludes di Debussy a Mosca, indimenticabili. Fece una grande impressione su di me, quasi più di tutte le registrazioni che ascoltai successivamente. Che siano le stesse note, ascoltate in studio o in concerto, con lui "dal vivo" si perderebbe qualcosa...Si, Sviatoslav Teofilovič aveva un effetto magnetico molto forte, ipnotico, cerco di descriverlo in questo modo, anche se detesto parlare di questi "argomenti", ma seduto in sala si percepiva un'incredibile aura...




    Da un'intervista a Nikolai Lugansky a "Moskovskij Komsomolets" del 2006.

    Beethoven: Sonate op.31/3, op.49/1-2, op.54, op.57 "Appassionata". Amsterdam 1992.



    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. Traduzione dal russo di C.G.


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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    G r i g o r y  F r i d
    Г р и г о р и й  Самуилович  Ф р и д

    Compositore

    1915 - 2012


    [..]
     Frid con Richter a Praga nel 1960

    ...quando penso agl'anni 30' al Conservatorio di Mosca, penso sia stato anche "il mio momento", il più bello. Erano gli anni d'oro del Conservatorio.

     [..] 

    Per sette anni, 1932-1939, ho vissuto in un ostello. E lo ricordo con piacere, negl'anni che ci ho abitato ero circondato da musicisti, tra i quali si trovavano degl'amici meravigliosi. In un momento difficile, che fu destinato a continuare, il loro calore mi era particolarmente vicino... Piccola, appena colorata di smalto, la casa (ostello) aveva tre piani che si affacciavano. Quando vivevo lì, era gremita di musicisti. Abbiamo vissuto abbastanza "agiatamente": in 4-5, raramente in 6 persone in una stanza, qualche volta persino in 3. In ogni stanza c'era un pianoforte a coda o dritto... Nei pressi del civico 6, la via Dmitrov veniva circondata dai suoni. "Cadevano" sopra i passanti. 

     [..] 

    ... Nell'anno accademico 1935-1936 1] entrarono due studenti del Conservatorio. Erano dei pianisti che venivano dalla classe di Heinrich Gustavovič Neuhaus, arrivavano a Mosca da quasi tutto il mondo. Uno di loro - magro coi capelli rossicci era sui vent'anni e proveniva da Odessa, forse tra le città più musicali del mondo (Richter, ndt.). L'altro era il sedicenne Tolja Vedernikov - Harbin (Heilongjiang, ndt.) proveniva da una delle città culturali della Cina, di genitori russi ...I Vedernikov furono repressi. Anche il padre di Richter subì questo destino, all'inizio della guerra. Lo incontrai al Teatro dell'Opera di Odessa, dove lavorava come pianista e, mi sembra, organista. Ero in servizio militare obbligatorio. Nel 1940, una volta a Odessa, visitai il famoso Teatro dell'Opera. Durante l'intervallo, andai tra gli orchestrali, e i musicisti mi diedero l'opportunità di incontrare Teofil (non ricordavo il suo patronimico) Richter. Venne per me, era affabile, un uomo modesto, pensai che dovevo farmi un po' avanti io, giacché stava giù nella buca dell'orchestra sul podio del direttore, mentre io mi trovavo in alto che mi sporgevo oltre la balaustra. Sapendo che ero un loro amico, mi pose le mani stringendo le mie. Parlammo per tutto l'intervallo. Appresi della sua morte, fu come fosse quella di una persona a me vicina, di cui conservo un ricordo breve ma intenso. 

    [..] 

    Con Richter, io e Vedernikov frequentevamo non solo diligentemente il Conservatorio ma partecipavamo con entusiasmo ai concerti, alle feste organizzate e facevamo assieme delle passeggiate. A volte tornavo a casa con loro da Neuhaus. Ma se mi chiedete, qual è stata la cosa più importante nella nostra amicizia, direi, la musica! .. Richter a volte è venuto al mio ostello. Quando mi stavo preparando per l'esame di storia della musica, mi presentò delle opere molte delle quali mi erano sconosciute. Tra di loro mi fornì quelle non facevano parte dei requisiti per l'esame. Erano di particolare interesse per me; per esempio, l'opera di Krenek "Jonny spielt auf", Hindemith .?. altri...(..) Berlioz, 'La dannazione di Faust ".

     [..]Lui ci ha dato l'opportunità di fare arte, che non si tratta d'un concetto ma senso della vita. 



    Fonte: Фрид. Дорогами раненой памяти. Воспоминания. "Московская консерватория: 1932-1939". Общежитие. 

     1] in realtà correva l'anno 1937

    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. Traduzione dal russo di C.G.

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter


    Una lettera di Richter a Z o l t á n (Kocsis)


     


    Caro Zoltán!Ho ricevuto la mia lettera, ma con un
    colossale ritardo (a Settembre!), perché nella prima metà dell'anno ho viaggiato tutto il tempo, in questo momento mi trovo in tournée in Giappone, Inghilterra, Francia, Germania e Austria. Beh!Naturalmente, è con grande gioia che suonerò con te (concerto e sessione di registrazione), solo che ora è molto difficile stabilirne le date esatte. Quando sarà chiaro per me e gli altri, vi scriverò e spero che ci incontreremo nuovamente. Sarò molto felice sentirti di nuovo, ma non necessariamente nel IV di Rachmaninov. Buona fortuna e fortuna ancora. Un caloroso saluto alla mamma. Anche Nina L'vovna bacia la tua mamma.
    14/X (1979?)
    Il tuo Slava

    Qui sotto un'altra lettera, in tedesco, indirizzata a Zoltán Kocsis





    Fonte: Fidelio (Ungheria)

    Kocsis Zoltán: Találkozásaim Szvjatoszlav Richterrel
    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. Traduzione amatoriale dall'ungherese di C.G.


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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    La prima volta che ho ascoltato Richter

    A n d r á s  S c h i f f



      "Nel 1961, mia madre mi ha portato ad un recital di pianoforte. [...]È stata la prima volta che ho sentito Richter. [...] Mi è apparso - nonostante la sua natura modesta e semplice - qualcosa di speciale. Personalità robusta, la presenza fisica richiedeva un'immediata attenzione. Allora suonò come fosse indemoniato. [...] Come bambino, pensai che fosse il pianoforte, così emozionante; più tardi scoprii che Richter era un fenomeno unico. Il pubblico lo amava, e se mai ci fosse stata una leggenda vivente, Richter lo era".




    András Schiff: A zenéről, zeneszerzőkről, önmagáról (Vince Kiadó, Bp., 2003, ISBN 963 9323 99 3).Link


    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. Traduzione amatoriale dall'ungherese di C.G.

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter
     
    22 anni: entrata in Conservatorio...

    1 9 3 7. M o s c a


    Nel giugno di quell'anno Richter entra nella classe di Neuhaus..."il destino mi ha regalato un secondo padre"


    La fotografia testimonia l'incontro di Nejgauz con Egon Petri "il miglior allievo di Ferruccio Busoni", secondo Genrikh. Seduti, da sinistra: Tat'ijana Gol'dfarb, Genrikh Nejgauz, Nina Emel'ijanova ed Egon Petri. In piedi, dal secondo a sinistra: Jakov Zak, Roza Tamarkina ed Aleksandr Gol'denveijzer. Mosca 1937.

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter



    Il Q u a r t e t t o di papà T h e o f i l

    "Moderato", dal Quartetto in Fa magg.

    "Mi piace questo lavoro per la sua grazia e per la mancanza di artificiosità, due qualità intrinseche a tutti i lavori di Papà"

    Sviatoslav Richter (1988)

    Eseguito più volte dal Quartetto Borodin, anche in concerto, è stato recentemente registrato per l'etichetta Hänssler/Profil dal Quartetto d'archi di Odessa




    Moderato: Una breve pausa di primo, secondo violino e viola, mentre il violoncello inizia subito - tra le note puntate degl'altri tre archi - il suo motivo ascendente lo rende protagonista di una stupenda prima melodia, che emerge nel breve pedale tenuto degl'altri tre, per poi passare la voce ed intrecciarsi...così si sviluppa un leggero, haydniano, dialogo a quattro, che ritengo squisito alla sola lettura. C.G.

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    ripropone l'esemplare cofanetto BMC, pubblicato nel 2010: booklet in versione inglese








    M  á  r  t  a      P  a  p  p


    Liner notes for "Richter in Hungary" 14 CD. BMC 2010


    Questo meraviglioso cofanetto in 14 cd è un esempio a cui le major discografiche dovrebbero ispirarsi per inserire novità sul mercato invece di riproporre stancamente sempre le stesse cose. D’altro canto è la dimostrazione di come la passione di veri amanti dell’arte richteriana (nel caso specifico il pianista Deszo Ranki– grande collezionista di Richter – e Márta Papp – grande studiosa del Maestro e autrice di un libro su di lui già citato in questo blog) possa superare qualsiasi ostacolo e produrre un gioiello di ottima qualità audio, dignitosa veste editoriale, splendide foto, eccellente libretto illustrativo di 143 pagine in 4 lingue, precisione assoluta nei riferimenti concertistici. Giorgio Ceccarelli-Paxton in "News released 4/2010"


    Avvertenza: per le immagini in formato originale si faccia riferimento alla fonte

     


    S v i a t o s l a v  R i c h t e r  in Hungary 
    1954–1993


    Richter’s Life and Career



    Right from the beginning of his career, stories abounded of Richter’s with drawn, mysterious personality and the events of his far from ordinary life. Though he concerned himself little with the outside world, in his old age he became more irritated by the legends that were spreading about him, and he asked Bruno Monsaingeon, an outstanding documentary filmmaker, to write his biography. From Richter’s own narrative, diary and many available authentic documents, Monsaingeon compiled a film and later a book about the pianist (Richter. Ecrits, conversations, Éditions Van de Velde / Actes sud / Arte Éditions, 1998). The biography below is based mainly on data from this book.


    Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was born on 20 March 1915 (7 March according to the old Russian calendar) in Zhytomyr into a family with German ancestors on the paternal side, and Russian on the maternal. His grandfather had moved to Ukraine from Polish territory; his father was born in Zhytomyr, studied piano and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna, and became a piano teacher at the Odessa Conservatoire. His mother Anna Pavlovna Moskalyova came from a Russian aristocratic family, with Polish-Swedish-Tatar roots. Both Russian and German were spoken at home. After Richter was born, they moved to Odessa.


    As a child Richter often drew and painted, and these passions lasted into adulthood. An avid reader, he devoured the works of Gogol, Tolstoy and Dickens, and read poetry and drama. At the age of nine he even tried his own hand at writing drama, and at composition even earlier. A few visits to the opera in Odessa had an immense effect on him. He started to teach himself piano, and was soon playing works by Chopin and Beethoven, and operas by Wagner and Verdi. In 1931 he started to work as an accompanist for the Odessa Philharmonic, playing for singers, instrumentalists and artistes. From 1932 he worked as répétiteur for amateur opera performances in the House of Sailors, and from 1933 worked in the Odessa Opera House. His first solo recital, on 19 March 1934 in the Engineers Club in Odessa, comprised Chopin works.



    In 1937, at the age of 22, he travelled to Moscow to enrol in the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire with the famous teacher Heinrich Neuhaus, whom he had heard give several recitals in Odessa. Neuhaus, who was then rector of the Conservatoire, admitted him after one audition, and in subsequent years always stood by him as his most talented pupil, even when Richter was threatened with expulsion for not fulfilling examination requirements. Starting in 1939, Richter was a regular performer at student concerts. In October 1940, in a joint recital with Neuhaus, he played Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 6, a concert he considered the first public performance of his life. It was here that he met Prokofiev in person, and the composer asked him to play his Piano Concerto No. 5. Richter’s first solo recital was advertised for October 1941, but due to the German invasion the concert was postponed until July 1942, when he played Beethoven, Schubert, and Prokofiev. In 1941 he played with an orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, as the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s B-flat minor Piano Concerto.



    In his early years in Moscow he met a half-Russian, half-French singer, Nina Dorliac, whom he married in the 1940s, and who remained his faithful artistic and life-long companion until his death fifty years later. Following the war Richter was for a long time under the impression that his parents had died. Much later he learnt that his father, as a German, had been shot dead by the Soviet secret police in summer 1941, before the German troops marched into Odessa, while his mother had emigrated to Western Germany with her second husband.


    Richter made his first radio recording in 1942 in Moscow, and radio broadcasts and recordings became a regular feature for him. His increasingly frequent Moscow performances were from 1943 on followed by wartime ‘tours’. In the towns behind the front he was acutely aware of his dual identity: the Russians saw him as German, the Germans as Russian. In December 1945 he won the All-Soviet Union Piano Competition, sharing the first prize with Viktor Merzhanov (because at the last moment Molotov telephoned Shostakovich, the chairman of the jury, to prevent the winner from being a German). In the years that followed he reaped so much success, that by 1950 he had collected almost every award: Artist of Merit of the Soviet Union, Socialist Worker Hero, and the Stalin and Lenin Prizes.



    He performed abroad for the first time in 1950, in Czechoslovakia. After Stalin died, opportunities to perform abroad slowly opened up to Richter: first in eastern-bloc countries, and much later, from the age of forty-five, in the West too. In 1954 and the following years he toured in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and China. Because of his German origins and his mother’s emigration it was only after much wrangling and with special permission from Khrushchev that he was able to travel in May 1960 to Finland, and in October to the USA. Immense expectations preceded his debuts in America and western Europe, because the previous Soviet artists to travel west, Emil Gilels and David Oistrakh, and the American artists who had performed in Moscow, Glenn Gould and Jenő Ormándy, had told of his talent. After the enormously successful American concerts, in the early 1960s he travelled to most west European countries, from Italy to Scandinavia. He did not perform in West Berlin until 1967, and in towns in West Germany in 1971. He first travelled to Japan in 1970. In his Japanese tour of 1979, Yahama gave Richter a concert grand, which they transported to wherever he was staying. From July to December 1986 he made a grand concert tour of the East Asia, in which he visited many smaller towns in Siberia.



    Richter followed this unique travelling-performing lifestyle until his death at the age of 80. Since he loathed aeroplanes, he travelled by train or car, and stopped intermittently for concerts. He never took on teaching or gave master classes, but took pleasure in playing with young up-and-coming artists such as Yuri Bashmet, Oleg Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Zoltán Kocsis, Anatoli Gavrilov, or Elisabeth Leonskaya. Though he made discs from time to time, compared to the number of his concert performances the quantity of his recordings is negligible. Unless he was ill, he gave 80–100 concerts a year. Rather than the famous, grand concert halls of the world, he preferred the more intimate halls of small towns, and sought after new, less formal ways to give concerts. In 1964, at his instigation, the Fętes musicales de Touraine was created, in the town of Grange de Meslay, where for the duration of the festival a thirteenth-century barn functioned as a concert hall. Richter regularly invited his friends and musicians and ensembles he admired to the Tours festival, and performed himself with David Oistrakh, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Zoltán Kocsis, Elisabeth Leonskaya and several chamber orchestras, including the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. It was also Richter who in 1980 organized the annual December evenings in the Puskin Museum in Moscow, a celebratory meeting of music and the visual arts.



    He kept a careful diary of his travels and concert programmes, according to which he performed at 3589 recitals. He gave his last concert a few days after his eightieth birthday, on 30 March 1995 in Lübeck. He wanted to return to the concert platform several times, but he was prevented by illness. He died on 1 August 1997 in Moscow.



    Richter’s Art


    Not only was Richter one of the most important pianists of the twentieth century: he was a great personality, who drew his audience into his aura of refinement, determining the taste of whole generations and their concepts about music and culture. He was one of the few performers whose playing is recognizable even from a poor quality recording, because his strikingly individual touch is inimitable and unrepeatable. He sometimes said that he was nothing but a tool in the hand of creation, a mirror that conveys and reflects the ideas of others, of the greatest creators, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. His modesty was clearly a sign of his greatness, as was his exceptionally severe self-criticism. The standards he exacted of himself and his partners is shown by the fact that in his later career he hardly played with large orchestras at all, because he could not rehearse enough with them; he preferred to play with chamber orchestras and musicians.



    His heritage is enormous, not just psychologically, but in terms of quantity: thousands of discs, mainly concert recordings, a part of which have already appeared, the rest in the process of being gradually released. His repertoire stretched from the works of Bach and Handel to the piano works of twentieth-century composers, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, Stravinsky, Berg, Webern, and Britten. He played over eight hundred works, including orchestral, chamber and solo pieces, but not counting the almost six hundred songs he accompanied. Interestingly, his interest in certain composers and works intensified in certain periods. For instance, he learnt Liszt’s B minor sonata at the end of the 1930s as a pupil of Neuhaus, but did not perform it in recitals until the mid-60s. The music of Bach, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the English and French Suites were frequently on his programmes from the 1940s to the early 70s, then after a long hiatus he returned to Bach in 1991. The works of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and Debussy ran throughout his career. He gave acute attention, particularly as an ageing artist, to oddities such as Liszt’s late works, and pieces by Grieg, Hindemith, and Szymanowski.


    He put compiled his recital programmes with extreme care. Hungarian musicians noted that the Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven works and Chopin encores in his first Budapest solo recital had the following key pattern: C minor / C major, C minor / F major, F minor / A major, A minor / F major, F minor / C minor, C major, C minor. He played only those pieces that interested him, quiet happily omitting movements from a series. He selected six pieces from Schumann’s eight-part Fantasiestücke, five parts from the six-part first book of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words cycle, a selection of Chopin’s 24 Preludes which he performed in his own individual order, and likewise with Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, ignoring the composer’s disapproval. In cyclic form he played only the two volumes of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and Debussy’s second book of Préludes. He did not programme popular Beethoven sonatas such as the op. 27 Mondschein, the op. 53 Waldstein or the op. 81a Les Adieux, but often played less well-known sonatas, performing the op. 10 D major three times in Budapest. On his own admittance, Mozart remained unapproachable for him, though he willingly (but rarely) played Haydn. He was particularly drawn to Prokofiev’s music, and from 1943 premiered several of his works, and he is the dedicatee of the Piano Sonata No. 9. In March 1953, when Richter had to return suddenly from Tbilisi to Moscow to play along with the most famous Soviet artists at Stalin’s funeral, he learnt of Prokofiev’s death on the plane, and over the next few days set down his memories of Prokofiev.


    Richter’s motions, the externalities of his performing habits gradually simplified with time, and by the late 1980s the ‘demonic’ artist had become a musician exploiting minimal movements, observing the score and his inner self; the Richterian flame became an inner glow, while his basic concept of the individual musical works changed hardly at all. Through his frequent performances in Hungary the Budapest audience had the opportunity to hear how he played Bach in 1954, 1973 and 1991, how he played Schubert’s D. 958 C minor Sonata in 1958 and 1973, the D. 664 A major Sonata in 1958 and twenty years later, how Beethoven’s op. 10 D major Sonata sounded in his hands in summer 1967 and December 1976.



    Bruno Monsaingeon, who perhaps knew Richter better than anyone, once said of the pianist in Hungary: ‘His face betrays much when he plays. A deep world of sentiment, but concealed, apparently unfeeling. In any case free of every kind of sentimental expression. He was a particularly original personality of the twentieth century. He was able to remain untouched by the Soviet regime, but he was undefiled by Western civilization too. He was independent of time, era, independent of fashion – and this gave him incredible force. Force, but not in the sense of violence. His power was a kind of passive force, a passive resistance. He remained unapproachable for decades; he wasn’t interested in newspapers, or the news of the day. He remained free of any entrepreneurial spirit, free of the spirit of our time. But he had a far deeper insight than us into the universe, due not only to his culture, but also to his natural and simple worldview.’



    Richter in Hungary, the Richter recordings of the Hungarian Radio


    From his very first appearances Richter became a treasured favourite of the Hungarian audience, whose return was always eagerly awaited, and who did return – every two or three years for four decades. Several times he made a sudden decision to stop in Budapest, and even without the concert’s being advertised the public rushed in. He gave a total of 28 recitals in the capital, and 13 in the provinces, in Miskolc, Győr, Pécs, Szombathely, Sopron, Veszprém, Debrecen, and Szeged, and in addition played as soloist in 11 orchestral concerts and 8 concerts partnering singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles – Nina Dorliac, Mark Reizen, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yuri Bashmet, and the Tchaikovsky and Tátrai Quartets.




    From the first concerts in 1954, Hungarian Radio recorded most of Richter’s Budapest concerts and some of his appearances outside Budapest. At first they broadcast everything in his performances uninhibitedly, in the 1950s and 60s even airing each programmed item separately, editing out the applause and often the dying away of the final notes too. Starting with the Bach recitals in 1973 Richter no longer permitted his concerts to be broadcast live, and after each concert designated which parts of the programme could be aired and what could not. This publication respects the artist’s wishes in this regard; for instance, due to his prohibition this series does not include the performance (excellent, incidentally) of the Szymanowski sonata given in Budapest in 1982. From the 1970s on, several series compiled from Richter’s concerts in Hungary were broadcast on Hungarian Radio. This series is the first such to be released on disc; until now a handful of his concerts in Hungary had been available only on pirate CDs, and mostly of questionable sound quality. The fourteen CDs include eight of Richter’s Budapest concerts in their entirety, and selections from his other appearances in Hungary.




    CD 1 - CD 2

    The 1954 Concerts, Budapest



    In early March 1954, as part of the ‘Month of Soviet-Hungarian Friendship’, Richter arrived in Budapest as a member of a large Soviet delegation of artists. The 39-year-old pianist was completely unknown at the time to the Hungarian public, but in a matter of moments he had Budapest music-lovers enraptured. Many legends later circulated about his first Budapest concerts: that these were his first appearances abroad; that the Great Hall of the Music Academy had to be filled with soldiers and students for the first concert, because nobody was interested in the unknown Soviet pianist; that in the interval of his first solo recital Budapest telephone were jammed as everyone tried to call their friends and acquaintances to come to the Academy of Music, because they’d never heard the like; that during the performance of Beethoven’s Appassionata the bewitched audience gradually stood up and listened to the pianist in amazement.


    In spring 1954 Richter performed in Hungary twelve times: he performed as soloist in four orchestral concerts, played chamber music with the Tchaikovsky Quartet also visiting from Moscow, gave two solo recitals, two small concerts for young people, one in Győr with the singer Mark Reizen, and two invitation-only concerts.


    On 8 March Richter made his first joint appearance with the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra with János Ferencsik, in which he performed Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor (op. 54, 1841–45) and as an encore pieces from Johannes Brahms’ Klavierstücke op. 118 (1892). As the soloist in the concerto, besides the utter perfection and the sparkling virtuosity of his playing, it now became apparent that he had a special sensitivity for Schumann’s music, and furthermore an outstanding attentiveness towards his partners, the orchestra and conductor: the merit for the delicate undulation of the balance and proportion of sound on this recording goes to both Richter and Ferencsik. ‘I was very pleased to be able to perform with János Ferencsik,’ said the pianist after a concert in the journal Sovetskaya Kultura‘In our joint appearance we managed to create the kind of unfettered soaring, and yet a close relationship, that rarely comes into being between conductor and soloist.


    The programme of his solo recital on 10 March included half a dozen preludes and fugues from Book I of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 847, 856, 857, 864, 865, 1722), Bach’s French Suite in C minor (BWV 813, from the 1720s) a Mozart sonata, Beethoven’s Appasionata and for encore, three pieces by Chopin. The Bach of the ‘young’ Richter (he was 39 at the time) was typified by puritanical clarity, pregnant and rigorous shaping, and monochrome dynamics. In an interview to the review Új Zenei Szemle Richter spoke interestingly about questions of style in playing Bach, still pertinent today: ‘To penet-rate deep into the essence of the work entails attempting to conjure up the atmosphere of the era, the contemporary sound. I am not thinking here of slavish imitation of the sound of early instruments, such as the harpsichord, but the creation of the atmosphere surrounding the work. In spite of this, my opinion is that some of Bach’s works should be performed on a harpsichord, and I would gladly do so myself, if I had access to a suitable instrument.’


    Richter’s second solo recital on 26 March comprised works by Prokofiev and Ravel. His first public performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 (op. 84, 1939–44) had been in Moscow in 1944. In a piece he wrote on the composer, Richter said of the composition: ‘Of all Prokofiev’s sonatas, this is the richest. It has a complex inner life, replete with deep contradictions. At times it seems to freeze, as if to surrender itself to the implacable passing of time. It is difficult to access, precisely because of its richness – like a tree dripping heavy with fruit.’ In his 1954 Budapest concert the Prokofiev work sounded in all its splendour. The rest of the official programme included three pieces by Maurice Ravel: the Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899), the second piece of Gaspard de la nuit, Le gibet (1908) and theValses nobles et sentimentales (1911), and by way of encore Richter played a half-concert’s-worth of Prokofiev, Ravel and Rachmaninov works, of which this disc features two pieces by Ravel: Jeux d’eau (1901) and the fourth piece of the Miroirs cycle, the Alborada del gracioso(1905). The clear contours, classical part writing and archaicisms of Ravel’s piano music in Richter’s performances took on a similarly clear, simple, rhythmic and pregnant form, like the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, with a multitude of colours, shades of touch, and sparkling virtuosity.



    CD 3

    The 1958 Concerts, Budapest



    In February 1958 Richter appeared seven times: in addition to two large-scale solo recitals and an invitation-only event he gave two concerts with his wife Nina Dorliac, a chamber music recital with the Tátrai Quartet, and as a soloist with the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, he played piano concertos by Mozart and Brahms in the Erkel Theatre, conducted by András Kórody. At his first solo recital on 9 February in the Great Hall of the Academy of Music he performed Schubert’s Sonata in C minor, Schumann’s Toccata in C major and Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, with encores by Rachmaninov and Debussy, and at the second on 11 February he played the Schubert A major Sonata, the C major Moment Musical, three impromptus and works by Liszt.


    Richter played Franz Schubert’s four-movement late C minor sonata (D. 958, 1828) in Budapest in February 1958 and March 1973. Though the difference between the earlier and the later interpretation is enormous, the tempos and time proportions of the two performances are similar, and reflect the same basic conception, namely: the intensification of Schubertian wanderer music into a flight from pursuers, and the transformation of longed-for happiness into mere illusion, a scheme which Richter conveyed with wonderful poetry on both occasions. The earlier Schubert interpretation is perhaps more aloof, yet it is more technically compact, and the characteristic subito forte and piano effects have great impact. The Toccata in C major by Robert Schumann (op. 7, 1833) is played at a rattling tempo, with extraordinary dynamism and fervour.


    Richter’s second 1958 solo recital also included magical pieces by Schubert; rather than this early recording of the A major Sonata (D. 664) this series includes the later one made at the 1978 Budapest concert (CD 10). In his performance of Schubert’s C major Moment Musical (D. 780/1, 1828) simple beauty is combined with an enormous dynamic intensity. But the real sensation of the concert for the Hungarian audience was the series of Liszt pieces. In his own characteristic manner he mingled the highly popular virtuoso works with the rarefied atmosphere of Liszt’s later compositions. Franz Liszt’s second Concert Etude, Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes, 1863) shows the artist’s astounding virtuosity. In Richter’s interpretation, the sentimental banality of Liebesträume (Dreams of Love, 1845–50, three Notturni, transcriptions of Liszt songs), is ennobled to music with a powerful inner charge. Particularly beautiful is the poetry that radiates from the expressive rendition of the Petrarch Sonnet 123 (Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième annee: Italie, 1838–39/1850). The performance of the three Valses oubliées (1881–83) is characterized by pregnant rhythms, brilliant runs, trills, repeated notes and outstandingly sensitive touch. Hungarian critics could not help but conclude that Richter’s playing is just as unique in its own way, as Franz Liszt’s must have been in his time.


    In Dorliac and Richter’s Song recital on 12 February, the songs sung in the original language shone out: Modest Musorgsky’s The Nursery and songs from Claude Debussy’s series Ariettes oubliées (1888), which lent themselves especially well to Nina Dorliac’s supple, light soprano, and Richter’s accompaniment underlined the character of the music even more and created perfectly attuned chamber music.


    In autumn 1958 and 1961 Richter appeared in orchestral concerts in Budapest, as the soloist in Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Liszt’s A major Piano Concerto. At the Liszt concert, by way of an encore he played the Hungarian Fantasy with the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by János Ferencsik, earning riotous applause.



    CD 4 - CD 5

    The 1963 Concerts, Budapest


    Having arrived from Vienna, Richter gave a solo recital on 27 and 29 April 1963 in the Academy of Music and the Erkel Theatre respectively, and on 30 April performed in Debrecen. The programme of the two Budapest concerts is radically different, while the Debrecen programme is a combination of the two.


    The programme for the concert in the Music Academy on 27 April featured a Beethoven sonata, followed by works by Schubert almost or wholly unknown to the Hungarian audience. In his performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s B-flat major Sonata (op. 22, 1799/1800) the many faces of the master from Bonn are clearly apparent: in the first movement the unbridled vivacity of the young Beethoven – in Richter’s ‘clamp’, the elegantly polished social style of the minuet and the closing rondo, and the Adagio, which on his piano Richter plays in the countless shades between pianissimo and mezzopiano, the voice of rumination and suffering. Franz Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke (D. 946, 1828) date from the year of the composer’s death, and each of them is built on intricate melodies of infinite tormentation and boundless peace; Richter played them as a minstrel recounting his own ballad to the audience. The notorious technical difficulties of the C major Wanderer Fantasy are charged with substance in Richter’s performance, and the public at the Music Academy witnessed several descents to hell and cathartic purifications.



    The programme of his 29 April concert spans the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. His performance of Georg Friedrich Händel’s four-movement Suite in E major (No. 5, 1720) moves from a grand, Romantic, heavily pedalled Prelude to increasingly puritan simplicity, and Richter plays the complex ornaments of the closing variation movement with utter clarity. The Händel suite is linked by key to the first of Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues, in E minor, written more than two centuries later. The six pieces selected from Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues (op. 87, 1952) are a visionary Richterian combination, which ignores the original order completely (no. 4 in E minor, no. 12 in G-sharp minor, no. 23 in F major, no. 14 in E-flat minor, no. 17 in A-flat major and no. 15 in D-flat major), and whose basic principle is the contrast of each piece: after delicate, sensitive, intricate music comes a concise bass variation and a snappy fugue; after introverted music, extrovert. In Richter’s performance these Shostakovich pieces sound perfectly simple and natural, yet highly colourful. Another individual, colourful and varied compilation was the ten pieces he played from the series of twenty of Sergei Prokofiev’s Мимолетности (Visions Fugitives, op. 22, 1915–17), which Richter presented to the audience in three small ‘bouquets’ to the raving public, showing how different the flowers Russian-Soviet music had put forth in the gardens of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.



    CD 6

    1965, Budapest


    In summer 1965 Richter travelled the breadth of Hungary: on 16 July he played in Szombathely, on the 17th in Budapest and on the 21st in Miskolc. Much of the programme of the Szombathely concert was also played in Budapest, but he gave the public a completely different offering in Miskolc: here he played, for the only time on Hungarian territory, the Liszt B minor Sonata. No recording was made of the Miskolc concert.


    The programme of the solo recital in the Erkel Theatre included works by Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. Richter played the outer movements of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s three-movement F major Sonata (K. 280, 1774) with poetry but restraint, as if playing Haydn on an eighteenth-century instrument; the great surprise pauses in the closing movement also gave this impression. But the ruminative performance of the great central slow movement tipped Mozart’s music in a Schubertian direction. The grand interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in A major (op. 101, 1816) with its free treatment of agogics, revealed the enormous contrasts of the work: from the contemplative opening movement through the volatile march, the marvellously peaceful and restrained slow movement, to the flexible rhythms and impish elements of the finale, crowned with a fugue – he cast the sonata in one single arc. In Frédéric Chopin’s Four Scherzos (B minor, op. 20, 1831–32, B-flat minor, op. 31, 1837, C-sharp minor, op. 39, and E major, op. 54, 1842) Richter boldly emphasized the light and shade of Chopin’s music, creating huge contrast between the racing main themes and the calm central sections.



    CD 7

    The 1967 Concerts



    Once more, Richter arrived unexpectedly in summer to surprise the Budapest audiences with two concerts on successive evenings in the Erkel Theatre with completely different programmes.


    After the large-scale Beethoven–Schubert programme of 27 August Richter took his leave of the public with a lyrically soaring performance of two Schumann Novelettes (F major and D major op. 21, 1838); many considered the two encores to be the most memorable moment of the concert. On 28 August he played Haydn, Chopin and Debussy, unravelling the hidden threads that bind together these three great composers of keyboard music, each from a different culture. Joseph Haydn’s Sonata in C major (Hob.XVI:35, 1779–80) strikes a note of classical beauty and clarity, with transparent texture on Richter’s piano. Similar clarity, natural impetus, and flexible mazurka rhythms with delicate ornamentation characterize a performance of a less well-known early work by Frédéric Chopin, the Rondeau à la mazur (op. 5, 1826). After the Ballade in G minor, in Claude Debussy’s Twelve Preludes (Book II, 1910–13) Richter continued and consummated the concert with pastel tints of musical colours, the pianistic novelties, and nuanced gradations of tone-colour. This series of twelve pieces, each strikingly individual in its relation to the series and highly varied within itself, satisfied even Richter’s high dramaturgic demands, so – unusually for him – he played the entire Book II of Debussy’s Préludes in the original order, to the great delight of the audience.


    In autumn 1967 Richter returned to Budapest, and on 18 September performed Britten’sPiano Concerto with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by János Ferencsik.



    CD 8

    1969, Budapest


    In November 1969 Richter again arrived in Hungary from the West: after performing in Sopron and Veszprém, he gave two concerts in the Great Hall of the Budapest Music Academy. This time the programme of the four concerts was almost identical: after Schubert variations and a selection from Schumann’s Fantasiestücke there followed 12 Rachmaninov Preludes, and at the second Budapest concert Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8.


    The solo recital in the Music Academy on 18 November was perhaps Richter’s most successful Budapest concert, with its intellectually and technically perfect performances, its every moment an enthralling experience. He once more produced an unknown work by Franz Schubert: Thirteen Variations on a Theme by Anselm Hüttenbrenner (D. 576, 1817), a fairly early composition, with a very simple theme (reminiscent of the opening melody of the slow movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7), and after some charming figured variations the gates of heaven and hell are flung open. With the six pieces from Robert Schumann’s series of Fantasiestücke (op. 12, 1837), Richter’s Schumann reached its highest peak: he saw Schumann’s world as one infinitely broad, in which demented passion and profound calm could coexist, all in a crystal-clear form – similarly, though in quite a different manner, to Schubert’s music. ‘Whoever would have thought that an almost tangible musical question mark could be drawn in the concert hall’s incandescent air?’ wrote one Hungarian critic of the performance of Warum? (Why?). The performance of the twelve preludes, selected fromSergei Rachmaninov’s op. 23 (1903–04) and op. 32 (1910) series with the characteristic Richterian sense of drama persuaded the Hungarian public, who had until then looked down somewhat on the Russian composer, of Rachmaninov’s true value; he showed the full significance of the unusual harmonies, the character now veiled, now full of bold feeling, the colour that hovers on the border between dream and reality. One of the encores to the concert was one of the few transcriptions that Richter was willing to play (and how splendidly!) – the Waltz from Sergei Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace (op. 91, 1944).


    In 1972 Richter’s journey bisected Hungary from north to south: in the morning of 16 February he stopped off in Debrecen to practise (which in the small green room behind the great hall of the local Music School all the teachers, young and old alike, listened to with bated breath), and that evening performed in Szeged, the following day in Subotica (Yugoslavia); the treasures of the Szeged concert are contained in Disc 10. In 1973 he performed in Budapest in both spring and autumn: in March he gave two Bach recitals, and in a third played two grand late Schubert sonatas, whilst in October he gave a memorable concert with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau of Hugo Wolf’s Mörike Lieder.



    CD 9

    The 1973 Bach Concerts



    On 13 and 15 March in the Great Hall of the Budapest Music Academy Richter played the entire Book II of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 870–903, 1738–42) right through. After the two concerts he gave precise designations to the staff of Hungarian Radio what could and could not be broadcast; some of the preludes and fugues from the encores he played so that they could be used to substitute for a performance (in his view) a less than satisfactory. The compilation on this disc was made on the basis of the approved selection by the pianist.


    Richter played Bach with the same simplicity and conciseness in 1973 as he had in 1954; yet his tone had changed, becoming more colourful and saturated with emotion, the scale of colour running from whispered pianissimos to mezzo forte, in a thousand gradations of tone and touch. He played the piano with the lid down, which depending on the character of each prelude and fugue sounded now like a domestic clavichord, now like a ringing harpsichord, now like a normal hammer-action piano. In pieces of every character – the calm, contemplative works muted with the una corda pedal (such as the C-sharp major and C-sharp minor preludes, the D-sharp minor and A-flat major fugues and the A minor prelude), the bright, energetic pieces (such as the C major fugue, the C minor prelude, the C-sharp minor, E-flat major, A major, A minor, and B minor fugues), and the playful dance-like movements (the C-sharp major fugue, the E-flat major, G major and B major preludes) the parts weave perfectly clearly, each one with its own colour and life, while the whole composition takes firm shape in Richter’s performance.


    At the end of 1974 Richter gave two concerts in Pécs, and in April 1975 appeared in Győr. In December 1976 he played two recitals in the Budapest Music Academy, a mostly new programme of Beethoven sonatas and Schumann and Chopin works never before heard by him in Hungary. In spring 1977 he appeared in Debrecen, and in August 1978 once more in the capital, en route, with a Schubert, Schumann and Debussy programme.



    CD 10

    Excerpts from the 1972 Szeged, and 1976 and 1978 Budapest concerts


    The recording of the legendary Szeged concert is only slightly marred by the less than perfect instrument and acoustic environment. After Schubert’s magnificent late C minor Sonata, which Richter also played in Budapest in 1958, then in 1973, a rarely heard gem followed: five pieces from Volume I of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Songs without Words (op. 19b, 1830). In Richter’s hands these small poetic pieces sound in all their lyrical beauty, with some heart-stopping dramatic moments. Frédéric Chopin’s early B-flat minor Nocturne (op. 9, 1830) also sang out with wonderful lyricism. The continuation was an organic progression, with the three pieces of Book I of Claude Debussy’s Images roaming through the broad world of the magic of nature, a ballad-like vision, and a perpetuum mobile. The encores included one unusual piece by Debussy, the Hommage à Haydn.


    On 10 December 1976 in the Academy of Music after the Beethoven sonata and the Schumann work he played pieces by Frédéric Chopin. In the F major Waltz (op. 34, 1831) Richter conveyed the dizziness of the dance with capricious rhythms and marked accentuation, and in the D-flat major Waltz (op. 70, 1829), its gentle lilt and singing character. The four Mazurkas are played with impressive simplicity and beauty, with refined yet striking ornamentation.


    Franz Schubert’s earlier A major Sonata (D. 664, 1819) commenced and continued with such sweet, calm singing tones in the summer 1978 concert in Budapest, one would think life’s dark powers, Richter’s demons, did not exist. Even the heavy octaves in the left hand merged into this gentle character, and in the closing movement there shone sunshine and humour.



    CD 11

    The 1976 Beethoven Recital in the Budapest Music Academy



    The concert of 9 December could be entitled ‘The Character Development of Young Beethoven’ or ‘Bildungsroman: between Classicism and Romanticism, from 1795 to 1801’. Richter played the opening movement of the op. 2 F minor Sonata (1795) at a surprisingly slow tempo, in a classicizing manner, and the Adagio’s infinite calm showed no sign of swerving off this course. Greater contrasts sounded in the Minuet, and with the fervid scurrying of the closing Prestissimo the audience was transported to the world of Schubert. In his performance of the first movement of the op. 10 D major Sonata (1796–98) was apparent the rich thematic variety, the emotional world and the expansion of the register of the fully-developed Beethovenian sonata form process. In the Largo e mesto the deepest of sorrows was expressed with the simplest of means. With the enormous change to the delicate song of the Minuet and the playfully cheerful Rondo (though not devoid of scare tactics), he placed the mature Beethoven on the Music Academy stage. The op. 14 E major Sonata (1798) once more takes us back to the world of Classical proportion and clarity, spiced up with a few Richterian ‘thunderbolts’, and with a feverish drive to the closing rondo. The opening set of variations of the op. 26 A-flat major Sonata (1800–01) seems in Richter’s interpretation to presage the piano music of Schumann. In place of the second-movement minuet stands a scherzo, initially gentle, but increasingly wild, and after the grave, solemn, but clear and transparent playing of the Marcia funebre, lamenting the death of a hero, the finale starts enigmatically but playfully, to become a dramatic chase, a terrifying sprint.


    In summer 1980 Richter arrived in Hungary from the east, and appeared with the same programme in Miskolc and Budapest. On 11 and 12 September 1982 he surprised the audience in the Pest Vigadó concert hall with unusual works: after rarely-heard pieces by Liszt he played Franck and Szymanowski. In summer 1983 he arrived with another unconventional programme, compiled of Tchaikovsky’s piano music and pieces from Rachmaninov’s cycle of Études-Tableaux. In January 1985 he performed with the young violist Yuri Bashmet in the Hungarian State Opera House, with a programme of Haydn, Hindemith and Debussy on the first evening, and Hindemith, Britten and Shostakovich on the second. On Easter Sunday 1985 he once more travelled through Hungary, and in an invitation-only concert one afternoon played exclusively Hindemith. In early summer 1986 he stopped to give two concerts in Győr.



    CD 12

    Excerpts from the concerts in the Pest Vigadó Hall, 1982 and the Opera House, 1985


    In the darkened hall of the Pest Vigadó the pianist’s music was illuminated by one single standard lamp. Richter selected some less popular and showy pieces from Franz Liszt’s Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1847–52), and he was engrossed in the performance of this meditative music. This disc features the contemplative suffering of the Andante lagrimoso (no. 9). In Richter’s organically structured performance, César Franck’s large-scale tripartite composition, the Prélude, Chorale and Fugue (1884) took on a discursive style, with organ-like sonorities. After the sonata by Karol Szymanowski, he played four Mazurkas from Szymanowski’s op. 50 series, pieces with a peculiar modal flavour and conceived in the harmonic world of the twentieth century, whose melancholy mood, contemplative nature and passionate rhythms perfectly suited the atmosphere of the concert.


    On 14 January 1985, in the second half of his joint concert with Yuri Bashmet in the Hungarian State Opera House he played ten pieces from Book I of Claude Debussy’s Préludes. Omitting La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair) and Minstrels, he forged the series into a tripartite cycle with his own individual dramaturgy. The five preludes of the first part –Danseuses de Delphes, Voiles, Le Vent dans le plaine, Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir, Les collines d’Anacapri – was a basically pastel formulation of colours, shadows and scents, yet with great internal variety. The second – Des pas sur la neige, and Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest – was a sombre, stark, shockingly concise image of a winter landscape and a turbulent seascape, and the third – La sérénade interrompue, La Cathédrale engloutie, and La Danse de Puck – was the poetry of the real world, with concrete sonorities, a rigorous structure and pregnant rhythm.




    CD 13

    The 1983 Tchaikovsky–Rachmaninov Recital at the Academy of Music



    In this concert Richter presented the Hungarian public with two segments of the peculiar Russian world, very different one from the other, though nurtured by the same roots. With piano works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (four pieces from the series The Seasons op. 71/b, 1875–76, the F major Nocturne op. 10/1, 1871, the A major Valse-scherzo op. 7, 1870, the E minor Humoresque op. 10/2, 1871, the B-flat major Capriccioso op. 19/5, 1873, the A-flat major Valse op. 40/8, 1876–78, the F minor Romance op. 5, 1882), he conjured up the atmosphere of the salons in the country houses of the nineteenth-century Russian nobility – now intimate and refined, now clod-hopping, simultaneously smiling and tearful – and its rarely-seen tragedies. Tchaikovsky’s little genre pieces were played in a fine, simple, expressive performance, in which Richter gave them the same attention and absorption as the greatest music.


    The eight works chosen from Sergei Rachmaninov’s two series of Études-Tableaux (op. 33/9, 5, 6, 1911 and op. 39/1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 1916–17) show the visionary, tragic world of the early twentieth century, with pieces predominantly in the minor, chiming funereal music, triumphant fanfares, shrill orchestral and organ-like sonorities, which sounded with captivating virtuosity in Richter’s hands, triggering a spontaneous applause after almost every work.


    In the early 1990s Richter visited Budapest twice more: in June 1991 he gave a solo recital of Bach and Mozart in the Academy of Music and played two Bach concerti with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. In autumn 1993 he stopped for one single concert, and this was the last time the Hungarian audiences were able to hear him.




    CD 14

    The Last Concert in Budapest


    On 9 November 1993 the 78-year-old pianist gave a concert in Budapest’s new concert hall, the Budapest Congress Centre, with a capacity of fifteen hundred, in which the intimacy of the musicianship surpassed the atmosphere of the 1983 Tchaikovsky–Rachmaninov recital. Richter made a personal selection from the 68 compositions in the seventeen volumes of Liriske stykker (Lyric Pieces) by Edvard Grieg, whose 150th anniversary was that year.


    This time the selection kept to the composer’s chronological order, and the 22 pieces played in the concert showed in their continuity and their diversity the highly original voice of the ‘musical diary’ kept by the Norwegian composer for 34 years: AriettaWaltzWatchman’s songElves’ Dance (op. 12, 1867), Spring DanceCanon (op. 38, 1883), ButterflyTo the Spring (op. 43, 1884), Valse-impromptu (op. 47, 1888), Norwegian MarchScherzoBell Ringing (op. 54, 1891), SecretShe DancesHomesickness (op. 57, 1893), Phantom (op. 62, 1895), Wedding Day in Troldhaugen (op. 65, 1896), Evening in the Mountains (op. 68, 1898), PuckPeace in the WoodsGoneRemembrances (op. 71, 1901). There were character pieces, genre pictures, programmatic miniatures, impressionistic tone poems, dances and spirited folklore works – played simply and expressively, markedly accentuated even in their reticence, and with the marvellous richness of colour of Richter’s touch. The whole evening was spent in a spirit of philosophical musing almost independent of the instrument, in which nostalgia and sadness were more present than cheeriness; the profound message of a great elderly artist through miniature masterpieces.



    Márta Papp (source)


    Translated by Richard Robinson







    Production notes: Selected by Dezső Ránki, pianistRecordings are property of the archive of the Hungarian Radio
    Edited by Márta Papp and Márta Perédi
    Digital sound restoration: Zsolt Komesz
    Sound engineers: Ferenc Varga (CD 5), Katalin Dobó (CD 5), Péter Winkler (CD 8, CD 9), Péter Schlotthauer (CD 10: 1-10, CD 13, CD 14), Attila Balogh (CD 10: 11-19), Emil Sudár (CD 11), Ferenc Pálvölgyi (CD 12: 1-6), Endre Mosó (CD 12: 7-16)
    Recording producers: Tibor Erkel (CD 8, CD 9, CD 10: 17-19, CD 12: 1-6), Sándor Balassa (CD 10: 1-16, CD 11), Péter Aczél (CD 12: 7-16, CD 14), László Matz (CD 13)
    Cover photos: MTI PHOTO
    Cover Art-Smart by GABMER / www.bachman.hu
    Produced by László Gőz
    Co-produced by MR3-Bartók Radio
    Associate producer: Zoltán Farkas
    Label manager: Tamás Bognár
    Supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary 

     © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. La fonte originaria viene sempre citata o collegata con un link alla stessa. In questo Blog OGNI citazione o riproduzione di brani/foto/immagini o di parti d'opere sono UTILIZZATI a soli fini di ricerca scientifico-artistica, il cui utilizzo avviene secondo finalità illustrative o di discussione e per fini NON commerciali. Nessun Adsens è introdotto, come altre forme pubblicitarie finalizzate al profitto. Il curatore del blog, Corrado Grandis. 


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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    Nello studio di Nina. 1945
    Sulla "C a c c i a  S e l v a g g i a"
    durante il Pansovietico del 1945

    Adzemov K.Ch.Indimenticabile. 1972 (sulla "Caccia selvaggia", Studio Trascendentale no. 8 "Wilde Jagd" di Franz Liszt. Pezzo ascoltato durante l'unico concorso cui Richter abbia mai partecipato, quello Pansovietico del 1945)

    《...davanti a noi c'era un esecutore-titano, che pareva creato per incarnare potentemente gli affreschi romantici. L'estrema irruenza ritmica, le raffiche dinamiche, il temperamento infuocato...Ci si voleva aggrappare con le mani alla poltrona per sostenere l'impeto diabolico di questa musica...》

    Studio Trascendentale S.132 no.8

    Nota: Dalle memorie di Richter, fu il primo pezzo che suonò al Concorso è ne fu soddisfatto. Successe un fatto singolare: in sala rimasero senza elettricità per cui posizionanarono una candela sul pianoforte, che durante l'esecuzione del pezzo cadde dentro, mentre Richter continuò suonare!


    In: "Мастера музыки и балета. Герои Социалистического . Труда: Сборник. Лев Григорьевич Григорьев, Яков Моисеевич Платек Сов. композитор, 1978 - 317 pagine. E in Symphonia no. 10

    Qui sotto il "fuoco richteriano" in un concerto del 1956 a Praga (nn.8, 10)



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    A András Mikó

    P á l   K a d o s a

    1903-1983. Compositore, pianista e didatta ungherese


    P.K. 1903-1983

    Pál Kadosa (6 settembre 1903, 30 marzo 1983). Pianista e compositore ungherese, della generazione post-bartókiana. Il suo primo stile è stato influenzato dal folklore ungherese, mentre le sue opere successive furono più inclini ad Hindemith e alla modernità. Nato a Léva, ha studiato presso l'Accademia di Musica Nazionale Ungherese sotto Zoltán Székely e Zoltán Kodály e rivestito la cattedra di pianoforte alla Accademia Ferenc Liszt per molti anni. Tra i suoi allievi, musicisti di spicco quali György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Iván Eröd, Ferenc Rados, Árpád Joó, András Schiff, Zoltán Kocsis, Dezső Ránki, Jenö Jandó e Balázs Szokolay.

    Proporrei questo link video in cui vengono eseguite alcune sue opere:

    Pillanatképek Op. 69. Zoltán Kocsis
    Szonáta Két Zongorára Op. 37. András Schiff e Jenö Jandó

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    1963. Jochen Blume/Getty Images
    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter 

    Al piccolo Svetik interessava leggere Maeterlinck
    ....non altra guida che la natura...


    Maurice Maeterlinck


    "Nell'immenso isolamento, nell'immensa ignoranza in cui ci dibattiamo non abbiamo altro modello, altro punto di riferimento, altra guida, altro padrone che la natura; e la voce che ci consiglia a volte di allontanarci da lei, di rivoltarci contro di lei, è ancor da lei che ci viene. Cosa faremo, dove andremo, se non l'ascoltassimo?"


    (Da "La vita delle tèrmiti")






    SCÈNE II (ACTE TROISIÈME)

    Une des tours du château. – Un chemin de ronde passe sous une fenêtre de la tour.

    MÉLISANDE, à la fenêtre, pendant qu’elle peigne ses cheveux dénoués :

    Les trois sœurs aveugles,
    (Espérons encore).
    Les trois sœurs aveugles,
    Ont leurs lampes d’or.
    Montent à la tour,
    (Elles, vous et nous).
    Montent à la tour,
    Attendent sept jours.
    Ah ! dit la première,
    Espérons encore,
    Ah ! dit la première,
    J’entends nos lumières.
    Ah ! dit la seconde,
    (Elles, vous et nous).
    Ah ! dit la seconde,
    C’est le roi qui monte.
    Non, dit la plus sainte,
    (Espérons encore).
    Non, dit la plus sainte,
    Elles se sont éteintes…



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    Piotr Petrovič Suvchinskij a Мaria Veniaminovna Judina


    Piotr Petrovič Suvchinskij 1] — Мaria Veniaminovna Judina
    27 Dicembre 1962




        
    <...>
      Q uesta volta stavo bene (cioè ero ben disposto) per ascoltare e comprendere Richter. Certo, lui é —  un fenomeno (uomo, musicista, pianista) — nessun altro gli assomiglia. La sua tensione é insolitamente alta; sembra  ch'egli venga avvolto da una corrente ad alta tensione. In  tutto questo risiede la sua forza e l'originalità eccezionali; questo lo protegge (lo distanzia) 2] da quello che gli gravita attorno, ma temo tuttavia che origini un campo magnetico, che allo stesso tempo lo isoli dal tutto,  che é una necessità imprescendibile ... Ha suonato della musica, che nel complesso mi é essenzialmente estranea: la Prima Sonata di Hindemith, 5 Preludi e Fughe di Shostakovich e la Sesta Sonata di Prokofiev. Come bis - delle Visions Fugitives di Prokof'ev (che adoro). Ma ascoltandolo - mi sembrava che lui può e deve realizzare qualcosa  di più, capire che c'è un altro aspetto della musica, dominato da altre leggi percettive del suono e da una diversa sensibilità, sensibilmente differente nel fenomeno della musica. Tu hai parlato con lui di questo? Ho  incontrato  "l'uomo" Richter piuttosto di rado, quindi non gli ho mai detto nulla di significativo al riguardo ... <...>Sì, avrebbe, forse, sgusciato fuori da questa conversazione ... <...>

    <...> На этот раз мне удалось хорошо (то есть в хороших условиях) услышать и понять Рихтера. Он, конечно,— феномен (человек, музыкант, пианист) — ни на кого не похожий. Его „вольтаж“ необыкновенно высокий; он как бы окружен токами высокого напряжения. В этом его сила и исключительная своеобразность; этим он защищается (издалека) от всего окружающего, но я боюсь, что именно эта присущая ему „магнетическая зона“ в то же время и изолирует его от всего того, что ему должно бы быть нужным и полезным... Он играл музыку, кот [орая] мне в сущности чужда: 1-ая соната Hindemith'а, 5 прелюдий и фуг Шостаковича и 6-ую сонату Прокофьева. На „бис“— целый ряд Мимолетностей Прокофьева (которые я очень люблю). Но слушая его — мне казалось, что он может и должен понять нечто другое, понять, что существует другой музыкальный мир, в котором господствуют иные психические, звуковые и акустические законы, иная восприимчивость и иное ощущение самого феномена музыки. Говорили ли Вы с ним обо всем этом? Я встретился с Рихтером „на людях“, весьма поверхностно, поэтому ни о чем существенном с ним не говорил... <...> Да он бы, вероятно, и „выскользнул“ из такого разговора... <...>




    Note: 1]Pyotr Petrovich Suvchinsky, later known as Pierre Souvtchinsky (October 5, 1892, Saint Petersburg – January 24, 1985, Paris), was a Ukrainian artistic patron and writer on music. The heir to a sugar fortune, he took piano lessons from Felix Blumenthal and initially hoped to become an operatic tenor. He was the patron and co-publisher of the Saint Petersburg musical journal Muzikalniy sovremennik founded in 1915. He was a friend of Nikolai Myaskovsky, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, and was the real author of the book La poétique musicale, published as by Stravinsky. (Prokofiev dedicated his Piano Sonata No. 5 to Suvchinsky.) Suvchinsky emigrated from Russia in 1922 and lived in Berlin and Sofia, where he founded the Russian-Bulgarian Publishing House; then in Paris, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was still active in musical circles and a champion of the music of Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez in the post-war period; he was a co-founder, with Boulez and Jean-Louis Barrault, of the Domaine musical concert series.
    2] Natal'ja Fomina: scrive nel libro dei suoi ricordi su Neuhaus: (..) (Genrikh G.) nelle sue lettere lo definiva (Richter) come un Parsifal. Diceva che Slava a volte si arrampicava ad altezze dello spirito tali da rendere difficile per un semplice mortale respirare un'aria così rarefatta. (..). NUOVA RIVISTA MUSICALE ITALIANA 2/2011. Heinrich Neuhaus nei ricordi della sua allieva Natal'ja Fomina. Pagine della storia pianistica sovietica. Trad. di Valerij Voskobojnikov.


    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. La fonte originaria viene sempre citata o collegata con un link. Traduzione amatoriale della lettera di C.G.

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    Eleonora Duse la musa adorata

    1858-1924


    © Fondazione Vittoriale di Gardone Riviera

    HANS FAZZARI  deus ex machina delle "Serate Musicali"

    (Da un articolo di Gabriella Mazzola pubblicato da "Il Giornale")

    H.F.: Era arguto, ma anche solenne. Un giorno mi disse: "Sai che Richter vuol dire giudice in tedesco?". Da qui forse nasce la leggenda del Richter giurista. A suo tempo il mio maestro Carlo Zecchi aveva detto che lui aveva il fuoco di Rachmaninov e lo stile di Schnabel. E non mancava di aggiungere: "E poi sapessi che giurista che è. Del diritto sa tutto". Una sera in un momento di maggiore confidenza non rinuncia a chiedergli: "Come ha fatto ad apprendere tutto del diritto?" e lui di rimando in tedesco mi rispose "Kein Wort (non ne so un'acca)".

    - Ha un ricordo lieto di Richter?

    H.F.: Una cena. Mi pare a Como. Era un evento straordinario, mi incantavo davanti a lui e non mangiavo. E allora lui cominciò (come si fa con i bambini) e in tedesco mi disse: "un cucchiaio per il papà, uno per la mamma, uno per il cane..." 

    Per Fazzari il concerto più commovente è stato quello al Vittoriale, a Gardone, in quella sala sovrastata dalle ali dell'aereo del Vate. 



    H.F.: Richter non voleva suonare per Gabriele (D'Annunzio). Non c'era una ragione particolare che gli impedisse di farlo. Era solo perché aveva fatto soffrire Eleonora Duse. Suonò per Lei con il ritratto della grande attrice sul palco con i fiori. Il giorno dopo volle renderle ancora omaggio. Poi andò a Roma. E si fece tirare fuori Cenere, l'unico film della musa. Per ottenerlo mise a soqquadro tutta la cineteca.





    Di Gabriella Mazzola. Il Giornale (1997)




    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. La fonte originaria viene sempre citata o collegata con un link alla stessa. In questo Blog OGNI citazione o riproduzione di brani/foto/immagini o di parti d'opere sono UTILIZZATI a soli fini di ricerca scientifico-artistica, il cui utilizzo avviene secondo finalità illustrative o di discussione e per fini NON commerciali. Nessun Adsens è introdotto, come altre forme pubblicitarie finalizzate al profitto. Il curatore del blog, Corrado Grandis


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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter






    M A R T H A    A R G E R I C H 
    "L'ho incontrato (György Sándor, ndt.) a Guanajuato, in Messico. Mi ricordo che quando ci andai suonai per la prima volta il Terzo di Rachmaninov. (A G.Sándor, ndt.) Gli piacque come suonai e diventammo amici. Qualche tempo dopo, a Parigi, andammo ad un concerto di Richter. Abbiamo dovuto prendere la metropolitana a Saint Denis, perché non siamo arrivati ​​in tempo. Dopo il concerto, siamo andati a trovarlo e Sándor disse a Richter di quanto avevamo imparato. E Richter se ne risentì, "Non vorrei che qualcuno imparasse niente quando suono, ma che ne traesse piacere," disse "
    - Ma si arrabbiò molto?
    "No, è successo lì per lì"(ride).



    Da: Martha Argerich: pequeña serenata nocturna. "La Nacion" 4 Sett. 2003. Intervista in occasione della terza edizione del suo festival al Teatro Colón. Di Martín Liut della Redazione de LA NACION (Argentina). Traduzione amatoriale dallo spagnolo di C.G. © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. La fonte originaria viene sempre citata o collegata con un link alla stessa. In questo Blog OGNI citazione o riproduzione di brani/foto/immagini o di parti d'opere sono UTILIZZATI a soli fini di ricerca scientifico-artistica, il cui utilizzo avviene secondo finalità illustrative o di discussione e per fini NON commerciali. Nessun Adsens è introdotto, come altre forme pubblicitarie finalizzate al profitto. Il curatore del blog, Corrado Grandis 

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    Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter

    D a n i e l   B a r e n b o i m

    (2015)


    1983. Tours. Photo: Gérard Proust
     (..) Very few musicians in their early seventies can celebrate a diamond jubilee, but the pianist-conductor-polymath Daniel Barenboim, who can look back on a career even longer than that, is one.
    The Berlin-resident, Argentine-born Israeli is celebrating 60 years at the Royal Festival Hall this year with his “Barenboim Project”.
    (..)
    "I remember a wonderful Festival Hall * recital in which [Sviatoslav] Richter played the Schubert D major sonata, then the Liszt Sonata. Unforgettable!"


    (..)


    From: The maestro of all he surveys. Daniel Barenboim on Schubert and his new love, Elgar. Hugh Canning. Published: 24 May 2015. The Sunday Times

    * Note: Royal Festival Hall. 15 June 1966. C.G.


    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari. La fonte originaria viene sempre citata o collegata con un link alla stessa. In questo Blog OGNI citazione o riproduzione di brani/foto/immagini o di parti d'opere sono UTILIZZATI a soli fini di ricerca scientifico-artistica, il cui utilizzo avviene secondo finalità illustrative o di discussione e per fini NON commerciali. Nessun Adsens è introdotto, come altre forme pubblicitarie finalizzate al profitto. Il curatore del blog, Corrado Grandis

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  • 07/31/15--15:01: 1 Agosto 2015, Un Prélude



  • Roman Vlad
    "...uno dei più grandi pianisti della nostra epoca. Anzi, più che un pianista era un vero grande musicista. Non era soltanto un artista, ma un uomo di grande civiltà e di altissimo livello"


    1 Agosto 1997 / 1 Agosto 2015
    Un Prélude di Chopin








              I n   R i c o r d o   d i   S L A V A         

    Chopin, Prélude Op.28/7 in La maggiore






    "His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. ... The gift of Chopin is [the expression of] the deepest and fullest feelings and emotions that have ever existed. He made a single instrument speak a language of infinity. He could often sum up, in ten lines that a child could play, poems of a boundless exaltation, dramas of unequalled power."

    George Sand, Story of My Life.

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  • 08/01/15--11:16: René Martin
  • Il Blog nel Centenario della nascita di Sviatoslav Richter 

    R e n é  M a r t i n

    [..] 

    Amava approfittare delle sue tournées per fare del turismo. Ho dei ricordi di lui nella chiesa di Rochamp 1], concepita da Le Corbusier, oppure davanti alle decorazioni di Matisse nella cappella di Vence 2]: restava seduto e contemplava i giochi di luci attraverso le vetrate...


    Da: Diapason no.548. Juin 2007. Page 72: "René Martin, Une curiosité sans limites".




    1] Chapelle de Notre Dame du Haut.
    2] Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence o Cappella di Santa Maria del Rosario (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) detta "Cappella Matisse"



    © Tutti i diritti sono riservati ai legittimi proprietari.

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    From 9 June–30 August 2015, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts will present

    Alexander Calder: Retrospective.


    Richter chez Calder. Photo: F.Van de Velde


    Alexander Calder: Retrospective is organized by the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in close collaboration with the Calder Foundation, New York. 



    This exhibition will present 52 works from the Calder Foundation's collection, in addition to sculptures from private collections and a gouache from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, which was gifted by the artist to legendary Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter in 1970


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