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Sviatoslav Richter

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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 10, 1997
It was in Carnegie Hall, and Sviatoslav Richter was playing the piano. The floor rumbled and the walls shook. It happened during the coda of Beethoven's "Appassionata."That the supernatural force I thought I experienced actually had a mundane subterranean source -- the BMT's passage underneath Carnegie Hall -- mattered not at all.It was a case of first love. I was 16.Richter, who died Aug. 1 at 82, was the greatest pianist I had ever heard. That "Appassionata," at his New York debut almost 37 years ago, concluded the first of the 12 concerts I heard Richter give during his American tours in 1960, 1965 and 1970.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 10, 1997
It was in Carnegie Hall, and Sviatoslav Richter was playing the piano. The floor rumbled and the walls shook. It happened during the coda of Beethoven's "Appassionata."That the supernatural force I thought I experienced actually had a mundane subterranean source -- the BMT's passage underneath Carnegie Hall -- mattered not at all.It was a case of first love. I was 16.Richter, who died Aug. 1 at 82, was the greatest pianist I had ever heard. That "Appassionata," at his New York debut almost 37 years ago, concluded the first of the 12 concerts I heard Richter give during his American tours in 1960, 1965 and 1970.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 2, 1997
Sviatoslav Richter, whose fearless imagination took him to galaxies where no pianist had ventured before, died yesterday of a heart attack in Moscow at the age of 82.Richter, who was considered one of the 20th century's greatest pianists, had long ago become a cult figure to millions of admirers. With the deaths in the last 15 years of such great keyboard figures as Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels, Vladimir Horowitz and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Richter was the last of this century's pianists to have had the almost godlike status of such earlier figures as Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 2, 1997
Sviatoslav Richter, whose fearless imagination took him to galaxies where no pianist had ventured before, died yesterday of a heart attack in Moscow at the age of 82.Richter, who was considered one of the 20th century's greatest pianists, had long ago become a cult figure to millions of admirers. With the deaths in the last 15 years of such great keyboard figures as Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels, Vladimir Horowitz and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Richter was the last of this century's pianists to have had the almost godlike status of such earlier figures as Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | September 26, 1994
Music lovers in the West have been hearing a good deal about the great things taking place at St. Petersburg's Kirov Orchestra under its music director, Valery Gergiev. To judge from the all-Russian program that Gergiev and the Kirov gave yesterday at the Kennedy Center, it's all true.This was an perhaps an even better concert than the one that conductor Mariss Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic gave at the Kennedy Center last year. This is not said to compare unfavorably one splendid Russian-trained conductor with another.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 6, 1992
Pianist Brigitte Engerer could have been a heroine in a Russian novel, perhaps one by Tolstoy: She knows what it is to sacrifice for love.She left France as a child of 17 for a year's study in Moscow. She returned 10 years later as a young woman, after a long, bittersweet love affair with her famous and self-destructive Russian teacher, to a country that had forgotten her."It was difficult," Engerer says, pausing to kiss the fingers of her traveling companion, her 7-year-old daughter, Leonore, who is busying herself with a video game.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 6, 1992
Pianist Brigitte Engerer could have been a heroine in a Russian novel, perhaps one by Tolstoy: She knows what it is to sacrifice for love.She left France as a child of 17 for a year's study in Moscow. She returned 10 years later as a young woman, after a long, bittersweet love affair with her famous and self-destructive Russian teacher, to a country that had forgotten her."It was difficult," Engerer says, pausing to kiss the fingers of her traveling companion, her 7-year-old daughter, Leonore, who is busying herself with a video game.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | December 21, 1994
As the year draws to a close, the classical record industry is again adorned with long faces. It's been another dreadful year for classical sales, which is a pity because there were some fabulous recordings available. Anyone thinking about giving the gift of music this Christmas season should consider the following:* "The Heifetz Collection" (RCA/BMG 09026 61778-2): A 65-CD set, grouped in 46 volumes, that contains every commercial recording ever made by Jascha Heifetz, the greatest violinist who ever lived.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 4, 1995
You can't tell young Russian pianists nowadays without a score card.It was only a few weeks ago that Evgeny Kissin performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto on a TV broadcast from Carnegie Hall; last Monday, Eldar Nebolsin played Chopin and Prokofiev at the Kennedy Center; and tomorrow afternoon, Boris Berezovsky will perform the ubiquitous Tchaikovsky with the Bolshoi Symphony at the Kennedy Center.Berezovsky's recordings of Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Liszt have so impressed Great Britain's prestigious Gramophone magazine that it calls the 25-year-old pianist, the first-prize winner of Moscow's 1990 Tchaikovsky Competition, "the truest successor to the great Russian pianists."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 23, 1995
In Charles Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop," a carnival worker named Short asks Mr. Vuffin, owner of a sideshow, what happens to giants after they retire."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 4, 1995
You can't tell young Russian pianists nowadays without a score card.It was only a few weeks ago that Evgeny Kissin performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto on a TV broadcast from Carnegie Hall; last Monday, Eldar Nebolsin played Chopin and Prokofiev at the Kennedy Center; and tomorrow afternoon, Boris Berezovsky will perform the ubiquitous Tchaikovsky with the Bolshoi Symphony at the Kennedy Center.Berezovsky's recordings of Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Liszt have so impressed Great Britain's prestigious Gramophone magazine that it calls the 25-year-old pianist, the first-prize winner of Moscow's 1990 Tchaikovsky Competition, "the truest successor to the great Russian pianists."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 23, 1995
In Charles Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop," a carnival worker named Short asks Mr. Vuffin, owner of a sideshow, what happens to giants after they retire."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | December 21, 1994
As the year draws to a close, the classical record industry is again adorned with long faces. It's been another dreadful year for classical sales, which is a pity because there were some fabulous recordings available. Anyone thinking about giving the gift of music this Christmas season should consider the following:* "The Heifetz Collection" (RCA/BMG 09026 61778-2): A 65-CD set, grouped in 46 volumes, that contains every commercial recording ever made by Jascha Heifetz, the greatest violinist who ever lived.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | September 26, 1994
Music lovers in the West have been hearing a good deal about the great things taking place at St. Petersburg's Kirov Orchestra under its music director, Valery Gergiev. To judge from the all-Russian program that Gergiev and the Kirov gave yesterday at the Kennedy Center, it's all true.This was an perhaps an even better concert than the one that conductor Mariss Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic gave at the Kennedy Center last year. This is not said to compare unfavorably one splendid Russian-trained conductor with another.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 6, 1992
Pianist Brigitte Engerer could have been a heroine in a Russian novel, perhaps one by Tolstoy: She knows what it is to sacrifice for love.She left France as a child of 17 for a year's study in Moscow. She returned 10 years later as a young woman, after a long, bittersweet love affair with her famous and self-destructive Russian teacher, to a country that had forgotten her."It was difficult," Engerer says, pausing to kiss the fingers of her traveling companion, her 7-year-old daughter, Leonore, who is busying herself with a video game.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 6, 1992
Pianist Brigitte Engerer could have been a heroine in a Russian novel, perhaps one by Tolstoy: She knows what it is to sacrifice for love.She left France as a child of 17 for a year's study in Moscow. She returned 10 years later as a young woman, after a long, bittersweet love affair with her famous and self-destructive Russian teacher, to a country that had forgotten her."It was difficult," Engerer says, pausing to kiss the fingers of her traveling companion, her 7-year-old daughter, Leonore, who is busying herself with a video game.
NEWS
November 25, 1992
IN THE preface to "Horowitz: His Life and Music," a masterful new biography of pianist Vladimir Horowitz by former New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg, the author briefly discusses some gossipy exchanges he and the maestro shared regarding other pianists. Apparently Horowitz wasn't much impressed by his competition:"He did not think too highly of the culture and general musicianship of the pianists he heard," recalled Mr. Schonberg. Horowitz' judgment of his fellow artists could be devastating.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 23, 1995
The true piano aficionado always knows with certitude which recordings are best. But not all aficionados like the same performances. That caveat aside, here's one aficionado's guide to the best of Glenn Gould, Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Martha Argerich.Gould: Gould nuts and piano nuts always argue about the pianist's two recordings of Bach's "Goldberg Variations." Gould nuts generally prefer the 1981 recording (CBS MK 37779); the piano nuts the 1955 recording (Sony Classical SMK 5294)
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