This site is an effort that goes back to 1975, when I, Peter Fritz Walter, was 20 years old, and found in my often frequented record store in Saarbrücken, Germany, some records of Svjatoslav Richter.
I still remember that among the first records I found were Beethoven’s Sonatas op. 31, 2 (‘The Tempest’) and op. 90, as well as one that I a was going to love even more, featuring Richter’s interpretations of Grieg’s and Schumann’s piano concertos.
Richter was so different from them that I could not believe my ears. He was more poetical, more sensitive, more consistent, more logical, but also more dramatic and grandiose, and technically flawless (while not appearing so at all compared to virtuosos like Arrau or Argerich), and his play reminded me much of the feel of composers playing their own music such as Serge Rachmaninov or Maurice Ravel.
It is so difficult to describe my sensations that I waited 38 years for doing this site in an attempt to share my feelings and my virtually limitless admiration for Richter, and for preparing a book about him.
On this page you get some basic information about the genius, and my own life and career. It may help you orient yourself on this site, for the first time, for it’s going to be a rather huge site, and if you never have heard of Richter (like so many Americans and very few Europeans, and virtually no Russians).
You also should consider that Richter’s musical choice was always correct! Take a great and famous pianist such as Arthur Rubinstein. He said in an interview at age 90 in New York City, where he lived, that he originally did not want to play the Grieg concerto because he was influenced by his teacher, who said that Grieg was a second-class composer! How can a musician of class believe such a nonsense?
Since I discovered this marvelous concerto through Richter, I wanted to play it, but I did not have the technique for doing so, as the Cadenza of the 1st movement is extremely difficult! Until this very day, there is no other recording for this concert that I prefer over Richter’s interpretation, and the same is true for Schumann’s piano concerto.