- The Richter Acolyte

The Richter Acolyte

  THE RICHTER ACOLYTE (founded May 2002) aims to make a record of all known performances of Sviatoslav Richter that have been filmed or videotaped, whether commercial, television broadcast, archival film, professional or amateur with accompanying details and listed chronologically by date of performance, with comments from TRA. Hopefully with time the list will swell with new entries and refinement of detail as we rejoice in the Maestro's music making. Contributions that are germane to this theme are welcomed, especially specific details of televised concerts of the past.

  Biographies of Sviatoslav Teophilovich Richter, born in Zhytomyr, Ukraine (or "Little Russia" of that time) in 1915 and died in Moscow in 1997 abound in books, journals and websites around the world - The Richter Acolyte is concerned mainly with the documentation of information about filmed pianism. Hopefully it will help to fill in a little more of what seems to be at the moment, a gap in the available knowledge.

  The Videography does not purport to be a complete list of "films" of Richter - on the contrary The Richter Acolyte has a strong impression that there is a large quantity of material still buried in Russian and former Soviet Union countries' TV archives and collections and elsewhere - we beg "tear down these walls!" - let these vaults open to reveal their contents of musical gems to the light of day again, and for most of us, for the first time. The Richter "Sightings" page is a measure of what may exist in fuller form in these vaults. Here we must thank the Japanese, who have issued much great material of interest to piano music lovers: fabulous once-in-a-life-time performances - most recently: the 3 DMEC videos of Richter and the 3 Triton DVDs of Gilels (listed in the Gilels Videography) and also the new Dreamlife DVDs.

  The Videographies were made possible by the confluences of a number of information sources: "The Friends of Sviatoslav Richter" (the foundational work of John Berrie and Falk Schwarz), Ates Tanin (who has brought an irrepressible zeal and acumen to the question of Richter's and Gilels' recordings), Erik Hillman, Paul Geffen's incomparable "Trovar" website (Davide Ciaccia, fount of knowledge), Farhan Malik, Yuri Zaidenberg, Erkki Valsta, Bjorn Ostlund, Dmitri Kulginov, Maria Elena Hartung, Yuri Bohonoff, Romeo Giorgio Ceccarelli Paxton, Dan Yang, Judith Raynor, and others(for information about "The Friends of Emil Gilels" you may contact Judith at JudithRaynor@aol.com) and ofcourse, my own findings.......Alex Malow

[Thanks to Graham Alexander Stewart for his invaluable knowledge in creating this website]

  The terms "video" and "film" are by and large interchangable. Duration times are approximate. The "Comments" column will be filled in as time and the Muse permits.

  Some terms:

VHS   = Video Recording
LD    = Laserdisc
DVD   = Digital Video Disc
NTSC = Japanese and American format
PAL   = European format

Bel Canto
"In his first concerts, he had a rather harsh tone. He had a fiery temperament and tended to give 'Forte' a lot, then, he started paying close attention to sound. Now his sound is simply ideal...this didn't happen all at once, this extraordinary Bel Canto of his!"
  - Nina Dorliak (translation from the Russian by TRA from the documentary Richter the Enigma)