Ashkenazy on Richter

Pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy on his colleague Sviatoslav Richter:

Richter magnetized me, like he did so many others, and I wouldn’t have missed his concerts for anything.

I think he communicated more than anyone else complete devotion and sincerity to his art. When I look back, this is what attracted me most to him then, and continues to do so today. I now understand that the strongest element in his magnetic appeal to audiences is his conviction that what he has done is absolutely right at that particular moment. It comes from the fact that he has created his own inner world, absolutely complete in his mind, and if you argue with him about anything it’s almost no use. He might say “Yes, perhaps you’re right, but I just don’t feel it that way. This is what I feel and this is the way I play.” And that’s it.

Schonberg, Harold (1987) The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present. New York: Simon & Schuster, p.469.