The special character of Richter was summed up in the title of Bruno Monsaingeon’s documentary film on the pianist, The Enigma. Reserved, yet unflinching in his pursuit of musical excellence, and in later years capable of imposing idiosyncratic conditions for his eagerly anticipated performances, he was already a legend behind the Iron Curtain by the time he made his belated first appearances in the West. Endowed with a consummate technique and devoted to utter fidelity to the musical text, he brought a vivid characterization to each composer he performed, from Haydn, whose piano music he actively promoted, to the grand virtuoso works of Liszt.
© Bruno Monsaingeon, The Enigma
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Edinburgh Festival 1964