Sviatoslav Richter Plays Prokofiev
Sviatoslav Richter (1915–97), who several times played all three wartime sonatas during the 1945-6 concert seasons, gave his first public recital in Odessa in 1934 and was taught by Heinrich Neuhaus at the Moscow Conservatory. Having played Prokofiev’s Fifth Piano Concerto under the composer’s direction, Richter gained a formidable reputation in the USSR and played in the West for the first time in 1960. Subsequent visits were eagerly awaited, however Richter became highly selective in his choice of venue, (always preferring smaller venues) and repertoire and often, as with Visions fugitives, selected a few pieces from a single cycle. Following an extensive tour of the USA in 1970, he chose not to return to that country as Aldeburgh and selected sites in France and Italy became his preferred venues outside Russia. In 1986 Richter gave 91 concerts over a four-month period during a tour by car from Leningrad -Vladivostok - Moscow. In addition to numerous solo concerts, Richter often played alongside friends such as Britten, Kagan, Rostropovich, Fischer-Dieskau, Schreier, Oistrakh, and Fournier.