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All the talk on the website concerning Richter this last week inspired me to
check out some Richter's cds from the library and I found the following
interesting comments concerning Gould made in the notes to _Stanoslav
Richter Concert Performances and Broadcasts, 1958-1976_ put out by Music &
Arts, which includes Pictures at an Exhibition from the 1958 Budapest
concert, Prokofiev's 4th, and Beethoven's 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 32nd.  It's a
very full four CD set.  The notes, by the way, were written by Kevin

"...for when he (Richter) plays Beethoven, it is Beethoven he wants you to
admire, not Richter...in reflecting a piece of music--communicating its
structure and character fully and clearly--Richter also gets in touch with
the style it represents.   This aesthetic of performance stands in contrast
to that of, say, Gould, for whom the performer's role was properly creative
even to the point of recomposition at times.  Whether he plays Byrd, Bach,
Beethoven, Brahms or Berg, Gould always sounds like Gould.  But for Richter
(though we can of course recognize certain consistent traits of his personal
style), the aim is for the performer to retreat behind the music, to serve
it wholeheartedly: in an interpretation is interesting, he insists it is for
what it finds within the work itself...he does what is necessary to let the
music speak for itself as much as possible...the range of his tonal and
dynamic palettes, the precision of his phrasing, the whispery lyricism and
the volcanic climaxes, the large-scale command of rhythmic shape in tempos
ranging form near-still to frantic, the sheer gymnastic agility--all are
justly admired.  Yet Richter's goals are still more musical than pianistic:
he uses the piano to get beyond the piano...Gould understood and appreciated
this aspect of Richter's art.  In an essay on Richter written in 1978
(though never published) he divided musical performers into two categories,
'those who seek to exploit the instruments they use, and those who do not.'
In the first category are the likes of Paganini, Liszt, Horowitz--'musicians
who are determined to make us aware of their relationship to their
instrument.'  The Second category 'includes musicians who try to bypass the
whole question of the performing mechanism, to create the illusion, at any
rate, of a direct link between themselves and a particular musical score and
who, therefore, help the listener to achieve a sense of involvement, not
with the performance per se, but rather, with the music itself.'  For Gould
there was no better example of this type of musician than Richter, who
achieves 'such a perfect liaison with the instrument that the mechanical
process involved becomes all but invisible--totally at the service of the
musical structure--and that the performer and consequently the listener is
then able to ignore all superficial questions of virtuosity or instrumental
display and concentrate instead on the spiritual quality inherent in the
music itself.'  Gould went on to record his impressions of Richter's
notorious interpretation of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, with
its slow first movement (complete with exposition repeat) clocking in at
about twenty-five minutes.  (He heard Richter play this piece in Moscow in
1957; another performance from the 1964 Aldeburgh Festival, is available on
Music & Arts CD-642.)  No Schubert fan, Gould dreaded Richter's opening
tempo, yet found himself, after a time, In a kind of 'hypnotic trance,' in
which the musical architecture, the relationship of details to whole, became
clear, and in which one 'was witnessing a union of two supposedly
irreconcilable qualities--intense analytical calculation revealed through a
spontaneity equivalent to improvisation.'

Interesting, no?  Has anyone ever heard of this unpublished essay on
Richter?  How do Gould's comments on Richter compare to comments we might
make of his live Goldbergs?  It sounds like something Bradley has said about
them.  I've never heard Richter's 'notorious' Schubert.  Has anyone out
there heard the performance and can say whether are not they agree with
Gould's impression?