Saturday, October 6, 2007

And Now Some Prose: Sviatoslav Richter, The Maestro

From the early 80’s, he performed only with a score in more or less darkened halls where it was difficult even to make out his massive silhouette, but where he created a gripping atmosphere, convinced that he was prevneting the spectator from sucumbing to the demonic temptations of voyeurism.

Yamaha placed two grand pianos at his permanent disposal, together with the staff necessary to maintain them, and they accompanied him wherever his imagination took him. Well, not quite everywhere. They remained behind when, over seventy, he ledt Moscow by car and did not return until six months later, covering the distance from Vladivostok and back, not counting a brief sortie to Japan, in conditions one can barely imagine, giving a hundred concerts in the remotest towns and villages of Siberia.
[Years later, when asked to return to Japan, he said that] he would go to Japan under a general anaesthetic; he would be put to sleep in his hotel in Paris, an ambulance would take him to the airport and he would wake up in his hotel in Tokyo. This demand seemed eminently reasonable to him, but it failed to impress the doctors who were consulted.

1 comment:

josh malamy said...

thank you. i didn't know about richter.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

If you want it, here, get an RSS thing.