Everyday Rather Live in Classic Eras

Sviatoslav Richter’s birth today, Complete Decca

A 51CD set, containing the complete Decca, Philips and DG recordings of one of the most enigmatic pianists in the history of recorded music.

Sviatoslav Richter was a pianist’s pianist, admired by the likes of Glenn Gould, Van Cliburn and Emil Gilels. Born on 20 March 1915 near Zhytomyr (Ukraine), the Soviet virtuoso became a lifelong champion of his composer countryman Sergei Prokofiev, whose tour-de-force Seventh Sonata he premiered in 1943 (the Ninth was dedicated to Richter), and whose Violin Sonata No.1 he played at Stalin’s funeral with David Oistrakh.

Richter had won the Stalin Prize in 1949; it wasn’t until the 1960s that he gave his first, highly-anticipated concerts in the West, his performances at Carnegie Hall the stuff of legend.

He remains a towering figure of the piano in the 20th century, and one of the most widely recorded of all time. EMI Classics (now Warner Classics) captured his explosive virtuosity and broad repertoire in recordings from Dvorak’s Piano Concerto (a rare and fruitful collaboration with Carlos Kleiber) toHandel Keyboard Suites. As a chamber musician he was in esteemed company with Oistrakh and Rostropovich in the Beethoven Triple Concerto. In 2012, Teldec released a 3-CD collection including a Richter’s first-ever recording of first ever recording (live) of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Major, K503.

Richter died in 1997 at the age of 82 but remains a titan in the pantheon of great pianists.

Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings