Richter’s Schumann


  • Etudes symphonique, Fantaisie, and Carnaval de Vienne.

It was actually quite late in my musical life, when I became aware of the pianist Sviatoslav Richter. A likely contributing factor was the fact that Richter did not travel all that much outside the Soviet Union at that time, so Western audiences may not have realized what an amazing pianist he really was.

Here is what Wikipedia writes:

“Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was a Soviet pianist well known for the depth of his interpretations, virtuoso technique, and vast repertoire. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. “

On this CD we hear the following music by Robert Schumann:


  • Études symphoniques, Op. 13
  • Fantasie in C major, Op. 17
  • Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26

Performed by Svjatoslav Richter (piano)

This is a legendary set of interpretations from Svjatoslav Richter. He played Schumann primarily in the seasons 1955-71; it seems like Richter’s spirit identifies with Schumann’s poetic soul, which the world lost when Schumann died at age 42.

Here is what was written in the London Sunday Times, 5th May 2013:

“The fiendishly difficult second movement [of the Fantasy], with its fistfuls of notes and vertiginous leaps, holds no terrors for the great pianist, but in the marvellous but elusive opening movement there are hints of impatience…Best is the lively, charming take on Faschingsschwank.”

Here is an entire concert: Richter in Moscow (1976), performing the music of Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy, and Rachmaninov (an entire hour!): Be sure to hear the Rachmaninov at the end–

Music starts at 02:48


What can one say or write? That’s a supreme artist of the piano.

Finally, here is Mr. Richter, playing Chopin:

Frederic Chopin:

  • Etudes, Op. 10: Nos. 1-4, 6, 10-12
  • Etudes, Op. 25: Nos. 5, 6, 8, 11

Filmed at the Barbican Centre, London, 29 March 1989



Tags: Robert Schumann, Sviatoslav Richter, Frederic Chopin, Concert

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