Reminicing about the past is one of humankind’s favourite pass-times. We know that our recollection of past traumatic events is notoriously inacurate. But what of our recal abilities where non-trauma causing events are concerned. As it happens it has meant enough to researchers to study this and give us an answer. The news is good — in general, our recall of past events is accurate within the bounds of our own point of view. That is to say we remember events accurately as we saw them. Of course others may have seen the events from a different vantage point and therein lies any discrepencies.
However, it still does some good to verify that our memories are that accurate and for those who do not have memories of those events, the historicial record provided by video, audio and film recordings are invaluable. This who digression is by way of introducing for the first time (for some — most maybe) a pianist who died not that long ago. The legendary Sviatoslav Richter. His technique was supposed to be unassalable. I now have my own evidence that these reports were indeed acurrate and if anything understated.
Take for instance Ukranian born pianist Sviatoslav Richter who’s technique was legendary, but who’s concert appearance became less and less frequent. We should not forget the old Iron Curtain’s roll in denying him his audience in the West. Long after he was well known in the Soviet Union, he was completely unheard of here in Northt America. This is what we might have seen had we had the opportunity:
There isn’t a note out of place in this Chopin Etude. Any young pianist might sell his soul for technique like this. But as I have pointed out in a previous post reviewing a live recording of the Schubert Piano Sonata D.960 in B flat major:
Richter lives dangerously even at slow tempos, but even without the bravura of the Chopin Revolutionary Etude, his musicality still shines.