Sviatoslav Richter plays Weber Sonata N. 3 Op. 49

The international success of Paganini and Richter bears a striking resemblance more than a hundred years later. 

Paganini, already known and admired in Italy, crossed the Alps at the age of 45 and left Europe astonished. 

Richter, already known and admired in the Eastern Bloc, crossed the Iron Curtain at the age of 45 and left the West stunned. 

The difference was that Paganini only performed music by himself and Richter only music …

Maurizio Pollini at Warsaw "Chopin" Competition

Psychophysical skills, intelligence, family environment, studies, career already covered (from the performance of the twenty-four Chopin Studies at the Circolo della Stampa in Milan in 1957, to the second prize at the Geneva Competition in the same year, to the debut at La Scala in Ghedini's Fantasia in 1958, to the first prize at the Seregno Competition in 1959), explain Maurizio Pollini's participation in the 1960 Warsaw Chopin Competition and …

Glenn Gould, the brat who invented Johann Sebastian

In his lifetime J.S. Bach was a reputed musician in a small geographical-cultural area of Germany, and after his death, in 1750, he was known only to scholars. 

He became a representative of the German nation thanks to Nikolaus Forkel, who in 1802, in the full eruption of nationalism caused by the Napoleonic wars, published his About life and art of J.S. Bach

From Forkel onwards the figure of Bach did nothing …

Wilhelm Backhaus plays Beethoven Concerto N. 5 Op. 73

After regular studies in the Leipzig Conservatory and an advanced course with a pupil of Liszt, Eugène d'Albert, Backhaus played in Germany and England and at twenty-one won the Anton Rubinstein Competition that was held in Paris in 1905. 

One of his opponents was Béla Bartók, who said of the winner "actually sounds very good", while observing a bit acidly "plays Bach's Fugues with the metronome", that is mechanically. 

Backhaus' first recordings date …

Sviatoslav Richter plays Brahms Concerto N. 2 Op. 83

The two key elements of Richter's vision of the history of music are the reduction of the sonata form to a scheme for improvisation and the dispersion of the overall form in the lyrical notation. 

Sviatoslav Richter throws himself with dizzying voluptuousness into Brahms' Concerto No. 2, considering it as a rhapsody of lyrical themes and playing on a continuous search for sound variety and enormous speed differences to destroy the …