Sviatoslav Richter, piano. USSR State Symphony Orchestra. Nathan Rachlin, conductor.
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These two very muscular performances by Richter were recorded in Moscow in 1957.
"The life and career of Sviatoslav Richter almost exactly paralleled that of the Soviet Union. Born in the Ukraine in 1915, he died in 1997. His grandfather was German and throughout his youth and during the second world war Russians considered him German, while the Germans thought of him as Russian. Regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, Richter was a mysterious, eccentric figure ... perhaps a mixture of the manic-depression from which he intermittently suffered and his stratagems for surviving the horrors of terror and war."—The Economist