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Sviatoslov Richter Pianist of the Century

J.S. Bach · Beethoven · Chopin · Debussy
Haydn · Mozart · Prokofiev · Rachmaninov
Schubert · Schumann · Scriabin

9 CDs Box 477 8122 - from c. £33 (Amazon)

These early recordings, 1956-65, many of them with Rowicki & Warsaw NPO, are brought together in a form which will appeal to older collectors, who will already have some of them on LPs.

The original LP covers are reproduced on the sleeves, the texts miniscule though sharp, and repeated in the booklet inside the box.

Whilst DG does not seek to deny that there are other candidates for "greatest of the century", each of these discs is a famous historic treasure and, for sampling, I have been delighted to revisit Richter's Schumann, which has long had pride of piano place in my collection, and to hear again his Mozart and Beethoven. I look forward to making time to hear all these performances again; they are each one carefully considered, accomplished with unassailable virtuosity, and in impeccable taste. Indispensible for aspiring pianists.

There will be debates about some of the interpretations, but none to question the immaculate pianism. Sound is good to excellent, belying their age.

A very welcome release, conveniently boxed and every one inside it a collector's item.
Recommended unreservedly.

Peter Grahame Woolf