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"Sviatoslav Richter at the Piano"

'20 Dreamlife Company Logo. Fade to black screen. "Sviatoslav
Richter" in Japanese characters. Front shot of Richter playing Bach's Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 944, at home around 1967.
"Sviatoslav Richter" in Russian lettering. Fade back to head shot of Richter continuing Bach. Japanese insert: "Produced in Russia in 1968." Return to Richter playing Bach, side view. Title screen showing the piece being played "Bach Fantasia and Fugue in a minor, BWV 944." Resume side shot of Richter.
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3'00 Clip of Richter with two friends looking through scrapbooks and memorabilia on Richter's piano around 1963. Continue Bach in background. Closeup of scrapbook showing Richter pointing to one of his programs at Monte Carlo; Baltimore, Maryland; Carnegie Hall. His friend points out a program at the California Masonic Auditorium; a magazine feature
"Sviatoslav Richter, the Incomparable Soviet Pianist" Narrator: "This is a diary in which Richter has kept record of his entire musical journey and performances." Closeup of list of all concerts.
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3'40 Shot out of window of car in which Richter is travelling. View across a river in Moscow as the car crosses a bridge. View of Richter in front seat. Many large flowers behind him. Fade to black.
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3'46 Shot of smiling audience applauding Richter around 1964. View pans around audience to show its approval of Richter. Richter shown on stage. He reaches to kiss the hand of a woman who has given him flowers. Smiling Richter bows. Narrator: "Richter-- As far as his performances are concerned, all the newspapers around the world report of his creation of an epoch of musical artistry. He is an artist so miraculous that no words can be used to describe him. Margueret Long recalls that he put his soul into his playing; he is a poet of the piano. He is one of the few artists to receive from Breshnyev the coveted Lenin Prize, the highest honor." Views of the applauding audience. Richter receives flowers from stage which is already covered in flowers. He places some on the piano bench then nods and bows. The orchestra in the background and Rudolf Barshai applaud Richter. Large angle shot of Richter standing and bowing on stage to a packed Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on a different occasion. Many people parade down the aisle with huge bunches of flowers for Richter. Various shots of Richter bowing. The smiling audience of yet a different hall. Richter receives an award around
1963 in a public ceremony, then receives an award from Breshnyev.
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5'03 Side shot of Richter's hands poised at the keyboard "ready to pounce" with audience visible in the background. Shot of eager audience in silence. Return to Richter's hands. Slava begins the Rachmaninov Etude op.39#4. Narrator: "Rachmaninov Etude-Tableau op.39#4 in F-sharp minor." Audience is shown. Richter finishes the piece.
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7'35 A street in Moscow near Richter's apartment. Narrator:
"Richter's home in Moscow. Let's go in and have a look." Various shots of the interior of Richter's home, including the Steinway, the portrait of Neuhaus, an LP (RCA LSC 2611) on the piano, and paintings on the walls. Subtitles: Liszt Piano concerto number 1, second movement. (background music)
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8'48 View of barren earth near a riverside out in the coutryside. Richter and some companions walk through beautifully shaded areas. Narrator:"Richter often went walking in these woods with friends to his house here. It is of wooden construction, and Richter will fix it up." Various shots of the house. The group surveys the area then enters. Richter watches the view out the window.
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10'28 Birds sing in the trees during a snowy winter in Moscow around
1965. Richter is walking down the snowy stairs of a park, with the Kremlin shown in the distance. Richter continues his walk along a busy avenue in Moscow. He is handsomely dressed in a longcoat and a fur cap. Funny old style cars drive by on the road as Richter casually glances at everything around him.
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11'14 Christmastime at the Richter home. Richter lights the candles on the tree and then smiles.
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11'38 A beautiful view of the Moscow Conservatory. Prokofiev's Cello Sonata opus 119 plays in the background. Subtitles: "Moscow Conservatory." The interior is shown, including the bust of Tchaikovsky. Narrator:"It is here that the great pianist studied under Professor Heinrich Neuhaus. Richter's formal studies didn't begin until the age of 22." Portrait of Neuhaus. Portrait of Richter around 1935. Portrait of Richter around 1944. Another Neuhaus portrait. A shot of Richter practicing intensely in the small hall of the Moscow Conservatory with Neuhaus watching in the background. Narrator:"Neuhaus always said that Richter was a musician who represented both his country and his people--in this sense he wasn't a private student because he was always in the public eye." Portrait of Neuhaus. The familiar picture of Richter and Neuhaus together is shown.
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12'54 Kondrashin is shown conducting in his decisive manner in the Dvorak Piano Concerto in g minor, Moscow, 1963 with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Subtitles:"Dvorak Piano Concerto opus 33 in g minor." A second excerpt of the concerto begins around the cadenza of the third movement. Richter finishes the piece, shakes hands with Kondrashin and the first violinist in front of an audience which is shouting "bravo!"
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16'07 Christmastime in the Richter household. Guests gather around the tree to chat. A Bach Brandenburg Concerto plays in the background. Richter plays everyone an LP. Camera zooms on Richter alongside an old friend. Narrator:"This lady is a painter and longtime friend of Richter, Anna Toroyonovskaya. She first met him in 1942." Anna is shown in her house. Anna:"Such was the situation at the time that Richter had no piano or place to practice, so I offered him, 'If you find that my piano is okay, go ahead.'" [In later years this is where Richter would always practice, instead of in his own apartment.] The piano, a C.Bechstein, is shown, complete with its cracked pedal. Narrator:"This is the room where Richter went to practice and this is the piano he used." Anna:"It was during the war. Sometimes, together we would get Irish potatos and put them on the stove and boil them for a meal. It was so cold that the fire would sometimes die out, it was so small. In addition, the fire was our source of light. "
Anna:"Slava practiced so compulsively that I thought he didn't know the meaning of fatigue. This is one painting that I did of him." A painting by Anna of Richter at the piano is shown. Anna:"This shows the movement of his fingers as they flew over the keys. I put a lot of effort into capturing this moment of Richter at the piano."
Anna:"One day when he was completely accustomed to my house, he arrived with a bandaged hand. Immediately he got bored because he couldn't play. I recall even now what he said to me at that time. From age 8 or
9, he drew pictures and then there was a time he thought he wanted to be a painter. He was confused whether to pursue painting or music." A portrait of Richter as a painter. "So I tried giving him some pastels and some drawing paper. It didn't seem he had much experience with landscape sceneries." Anna displays a house/window painting done by Richter. Anna:"Here is a unique painting that he did here in my house. It's wonderful. You could almost see a developing 'Sviatoslav' style, and that was the interesting thing about it." Anna displays various Richter paintings. There is a painting of a mountain behind her as she puts his works on a rack. There is one of Russian buildings by night, and a Russian church scene. There is a striking painting of buildings in Moscow. Anna:"A perspective painting:the accent, the space, the method. In short, as far as painting, I thought the completed technique was there. Tone, shades, details. The sense was excellent." A village street scene is shown, followed by a dance painting. Anna:"This painting represents his instinct about movement. This sense is essential to a musician. But as for me, this here is my favorite." Displays another painting. Anna:"This was done after he returned from a local recital. From the window he spotted this winter scene of two trees against the winter colors and the snow. These are wonderful expressions of memories of that time." Another portrait of Richter as a painter. "The expression of memories is the wonderful power of imagination. I always think about Slava. He would not have been able to bring out these elements in his music had he not had the ability to do all this."
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20'28 Richter at the piano in Anna's home. A gentleman arrives and joins to listen. The gentleman:"Your performances are always wonderful. Am I interrupting you?" Richter:"No, generally, I don't mind that you watch me. Would it be bad if I played the same melody?" Excerpt of the slow movement of the C Major Schubert sonata. Excerpt of Chopin's variations on Ludovic's "Je Vends des Scapulaires" opus 12. He plays it with brilliant sweep, with an out-of-doors freshness. He finishes the piece. Richter:"Well, that goes terribly." Starts to play Liszt, then stops. "But this is good!" Continues, then stops. "Too fast." Continues once again. Narrator:"Richter spends five to six hours a day at the piano." [He was known to spend much more time practicing than that!]
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26'56 A huge hall, the same one where the public ceremony was held earlier in the video, is shown packed with standing-room people. Richter plays Mozart's piano Concerto number 27, on April 23, 1966 with Barshai conducting the Moscow CO. In the meantime Richter is shown with his wife Nina visiting an art museum. He surveys several works of art in this exhibition. Narrator:"Hermitage Museum, Leningrad public exhibition. Richter's visit to Hermitage brought back many memories of his childhood." The conclusion of the Mozart concerto is shown.
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32'02 A glum-looking crowd shown outside of a sold-out Richter recital. Next, Richter goes sightseeing with many friends in a private bus. They visit old churches and various landmarks around Russia.
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33'17 Richter arrives in Baku by train, and is greeted by many people and flowers. Next he is shown in concert taking his bows with photographers wildly snapping photos. As usual, the hall is packed.
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33'50 Richter performs Prokofiev's Sixth Sonata in a staged setting. Richter is shown autographing programs for fans, receiving flowers in return. Richter is shown out at sea with the oil drillers. The Prokofiev Sonata continues in the background. [Richter once said that he thought the first movement represented industrialization!] Richter admires these workers. Narrator:"This was the impression that Richter had when he was on the trip: It is not fame or money that influences the success or failure of work." Richter rides in a train and, with Nina, surveys oil rigs across the Russian landscape.
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38'45 Sviatoslav, Nina and a friend sit down for tea and a conversation. Richter shows his friend the manuscript of Prokofiev's 9th Sonata with a photo. Narrator:"The singer Nina Dorliak, and music critic Yakov Merishytn." Yakov:"Is this Prokofiev?" Slava:"Yes." Yakov:"I've always wanted to see him." Slava:"Yes." Yakov:"Is this handwritten?" Slava:"That's right. You see, this picture was taken when Prokofiev was young and I really like it. It's a very rare picture." Yakov:"Did you play the 9th Sonata for him?" Slava:"No I haven't played it in front of him. At the time of my visit it still wasn't complete. Surely on that day it was his 'how many-eth' birthday. He showed me this composition and said the following:'This sonata is subdued and the melody is slow. Surely it is not a virtuoso piece.' We were in agreement on the matter, and I subsequently performed this piece as his Sonata #9. He heard my performance on the radio--he was sick at the time and couldn't make it to the concert." Richter plays the sonata. Narrator:"Prokofiev dedicated this piece to Richter." Slava:"I met with Prokofiev formally about seven times. Of course I met many more times but for music we met 7 or 8 times. That's all." Yakov:"What did you play for him?" Slava:"I played the sonata number seven once when he had just completed it." Yakov:"You also played the concerto number five." Slava:"Yes, that's right, with Prokofiev himself conducting. At the time of the sixth sonata, it was just before the war. It was after he had first heard me play." Yakov:"What would have happened had you not been around?" Slava:"It seemed that he was happy with the success of his work. It seemed he liked my performance. Of course I'm joking! I played the piece again two months later in Tchaikovsky Hall. Somehow I felt something very deep and significant in the piece." Plays the second movement of sonata number nine.
Yakov:"Your repertoire is really large. It's truly remarkable." Slava:"The fewer the better--isn't that right?" Plenty of laughter. Yakov:"No, that's not true! Is it because you believe in all of these pieces?" Slava:"Yes, I do. Believing is essential to my performance. That's most important." Yakov:"How so? What it means is your power to digest." Slava:"No, I'm in no mood to play what's bad. All the same, the pieces that I do like to play, I like to perform. How would I perform it..." Yakov:"But you like to play many pieces." Slava:"Yes, there are many pieces that interest me. Is it greediness, do you think?" Yakov:"No such thing!" Slava:"There are people who like the piece, there are those who say 'this is good, this is bad'...in everything there's something good." Yakov:"Yes." Slava:"In saying this I don't mean that the entire work is good necessarily...the problem is not the school or the style...the most important thing is the work as a whole. The most talented person is involved. In the arts what is important above all is how one *empoys* the talent; participation is everything." Richter plays Debussy Prelude number 6 and pulverizes the L'Isle Joyeuse in a hair-raising rendition in concert. Yakov:"What is your most recent performance trend? Is it the classical or modern style? You play few pieces from the mid-romantic period. Will you tell me about this?" Slava:"I've played a few pieces from the romantic period...I've gotten tired of it. My performances of these works are not outstanding. They are to be played from the point of view of emotional expression. I find it especially difficult to perform these works. In performing modern and classical pieces, the intellect is the most important element. But in romantic style, the physical and powerful aspects are important. The great majority of the people unnessecarily think that it is *only* because of this that the piece is difficult. For me in this sense, it is impossible to perform these pieces. So, the young people are misled, and what *is* actually the difficult part gets ignored and is seen as unnessecary. The public demand is an intensity which surpasses this. Also, the public is always the right judge." Yakov:"That's right." Slava:"From one point of view, the public is always correct." Richter plays the Chopin etudes number 4 and 10 from opus 10. Slava:"This year I performed 130 times." Yakov:"130 times?!" Slava:"Yes, 130. Last year 125 times. Next year it will probably be 150 times!" Yakov:"150 times?!?" Much laughter. Slava:"Oh, that's a joke! Maybe only 50 times next year, actually." Yakov:"It seems that every year you focus on one composer." Slava:"Not true." Yakov:"Last year you played a lot of Mozart. Do you like to play new music?" Slava:"I don't generally play new music. I belong to the conservative school. That's right, every year there seems to be a characteristic. There's a Mozart year, a Beethoven year, and a Bach year. That's right, a Bach year. Is that okay?" Yakov:"So you have the best impression of which

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