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on 19 February 2014
This is a collection of Richter's solo recordings for Philips, DG and Decca, ranging chronologically from 1956 to 1992. At its core are the, mostly live, performances released by Philips as 'The Authorised Recordings' in the 1990's. These begin with some sublime Bach, recorded in Germany towards the end of his career and cover many of the great touchstones of his repertoire. Of course, these 33 discs only scratch the surface of Richter discography, but they make for a fine starting point.

For my part, I don't know of any other artist who is able to move, thrill and inspire awe so consistently. Richter's art is totally at the service of the composer, and he inhabits the world of each piece completely. My particular favourite recordings of his, from his Italian tour of 1962, are here. Also, the legendary Sofia Recital from 1958. I'm no audiophile, but everything seems to be in at least acceptable sound.

This is a very bare bones release, with each disc with an identical sleeve picture (the one on the box) and just a track list on the back. The booklet offers an enthusiastic and engaging essay by Piero Rattalino, which encourages listening to the set in chronological order. Unfortunately, the discographical information supplied is inconsistent, missing in some cases and sometimes just wrong. I've donned my anorak and put together some basic information here, using the information in the Richter pages. Any mistakes are my own!

CD 1
English Suites No. 3,4,6
Rolandseck, Bonn, 1991

CD 2
French Suites No. 2,4,6
Rolandseck, Bonn, 1991

Toccata in D minor, Toccata in G, Fantasia in C minor
Neumarkt, 1991

CD 3
Italian Concerto, 4 Duettos
Neumarkt,, 1991

French Overture
Rolandseck, Bonn, 1991

CD 4
Sonatas 19, 20, 22, 23 `Appassionata'
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 1992

CD 5
Sonatas 30, 31, 32
Ludwigsberg, 1991

CD 6
Sonatas No. 9 & 11
Paris, 1963

Sonata No. 12
Ferrara, 1966

Sonata No. 27
Salzburg, 1965

CD 7
Sonata No. 18
Amsterdam, 1992

Rondo in C, Rondo in G, Sonata No. 28
Congertgebouw, Amsterdam, 1986

CD 8
Diabelli Variations
Congertgebouw, Amsterdam, 1986

CD 9
Sonatas No.1 & 2
Tours, 1988

CD 10
Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Tours, 1988

Ballade in G, Rhapsody in E flat, Intermezzo in E Minor, Capriccio in C
Chiesa di San Francesco, Locarno, 1966

Fantasia in C
Leverkusen, 1979

CD 11
March in G minor, Concert Studies on Caprices by Paganini,
Novellette in F, Blumenstück, Nachtstücke
Copenhagen, 1986

CD 12
Sonatas No.1 & 2
Teatro del Bibbiena, Mantua, 1986

CD 13
Etudes from Op.10 & Op.25
Saarbrücken, 1988

Polonaises, No. 1 & 4
Nijmegan, 1992

CD 14
Preludes, from Op. 28, Barcarolle in F sharp, Nocturne No. 4
Ferrara, 1966

Polonaise No. 7 "Polonaise-Fantasie"
Nijmegan, 1992

Sonata in B minor
Livorno, 1966

CD 15
Polonaise No.2, Scherzo in G Minor, Nuages gris, Consolation,
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 17, Kavierstück in F sharp, Mephisto Polka,
Études d'exécution transcendante, from S.139
Cologne, 1988

2 Études de concert
Rosenheim, 1988

CD 16
Sonatas Hob. XVI: 44, 40, 41, 48, 52
Teatro del Bibbiena, Mantua, 1986

CD 17
Sonatas Hob XVI: 32 & 24
Munich, 1984

Sonatas XVI: 46 & 2
Mantua, 1987

CD 18
Sonata Hob. XVI: 24
?, 1985

Sonata Hob. XVI No. 52
Chiesa di San Francesco, Locarno, 1966

Sonata No. 3
Chiesa di San Francesco, Locarno, 1966

CD 19
Sonatas K 280, 333, 283
Salzburg, 1966

CD 20
Sonata & Rondo K 533/494
Como, 1989

Fantasia in C minor, K 475, Sonata in C Minor K 457
Ludwigsburg, 1991

CD 21
Sonatas K 282, K 545, K 310
Barbican, London 1989

CD 22
Légende, from Visions fugitives, Danza & Waltz from Four Pieces,
Pieces from Cinderella
Salzburg, 1979

Preludes & Fugues Op. 87: No. 14, 17, 15, 4, 12, 23
Paris 1963

CD 23
Sonata in G, D. 894
London, 1989

CD 24
Sonata in B, D. 575
Florence, 1966

Sonata in C, D. 840
Salzburg/Leverkusen, 1979

CD 25
March in G minor, Waldszenen, Fantasiestücke
Prague, 1956

Novellette in F, Toccata in C
Warsaw, 1959

CD 26
4 Fugues, March in G minor, Toccata, Blumenstück, Nachtstücke
Teatro del Bibbiena, Mantua, 1986

CD 27
Poème-Nocturne, 2 Danses, Vers la flame, Fantas
Nijmegan, 1992

Sonata No. 4
London, 1989

Sonata No. 6
Chiesa di San Francesco, Locarno, 1966

CD 28
Polonaise No.7 "Polonaise-Fantasie"
Milan, 1962

Etude in C major, in C minor `Revolutionary', Ballade No.4
Venice, 1962

Rome/Palermo, 1962

Sonata No.5
Rome/Palermo, 1962

6 Preludes
National Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, 1959

CD 29
Sonata Hob. XVI:44

Ballade No. 3

From Preludes Book I, Voiles, Le vent dans la plaine, Les collines d'Anacarpri

Sonata No. 8

Wembley Town Hall, London, 1961

CD 30
Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, Preludes & Fugues - C major, C sharp minor, D major, D minor, D sharp minor
Florence , 1962

Allegretto, 2 Ländler from D.366
Florence, 1962

Theme and Variations on the name Abegg
Rome/Venice, 1962

Prelude in G sharp minor, Op.32 No 12
Venice, 1962

From Visions fugitives, No 3,6,9
Italy, 1962

CD 31
Sonata No. 2


Prelude & Fugue Op.87 No. 19 & 20

Yamaha Centre, Vienna, 1989

CD 32

3 Burlesques


Suite "1922"

Yamaha Centre, Vienna, 1989

CD 33

Pictures at an Exhibition

Moment musical D780 No. 1, Imprompu D.899 No. 2 & No 4

Etude in E major Op 10 No 3

Valse ouliée No.1 & No. 2, Étude d'exécution trancendante No. 5 & No. 11

Prelude in G sharp minor

Sofia, 1958

This is an Italian import and, at the time of writing, only intermittently available in the UK. I would urge any Richter fan who doesn't already have these recordings to snap them up while they can.
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on 20 October 2014
excellent deal
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on 4 March 2014
This actually contains a big chunk of the DG pianist of the century box (all the solo stuff) so its pretty well rounded--mostly stuff from late in his career, but with a good dose of early stuff mixed in.
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on 4 June 2015
Marvellous value and performances
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on 31 March 2014
Not a word against Richter, he's absolutely marvellous and worth not just every penny of the price but probably ten times more. But: as an unsystematic fledgling collector of his work I discovered I already had a good third of the recordings already, and sadly quite abit of the rest is not my cup of tea. On taking a closer look, my impression is that the whole compilation has largely been thrown together from Deutsche Gramphone recordings and the Phillips set that was re-released on the Master series, and that little attempt has been made to give a well-rounded impression of Richter's loves and strengths. Eight CDs of Bach (fiar enough, he played a lot of Bach) and Beethoven and not one whole CD of Rachmaninow, nearly three of Haydn against almost no Scriabin... Two CDs dedicated to the two identical Brahms sonatas when another Prokofiev or Schubert or two would have been perhaps more welcome!!I I will not pretend I am not biased, obviously everyone has their favourites, but that is not the issue. This collection has simply been put tiogether without any research or effort. A little more effort searching for recordings outside of the well-trodden path, a few rarities and less normally availble works might have tempted me to buy. As it is I shall continue buying the odd Russian recording and more of the BBC series, which generally capture Richter at his very best, and enjoy the "hunt".
P.s. this review is based on the track information given by Mr Yeatman, to whom I a most grateful.
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