Music: Legend from Moscow

Can he really be as good as .they say? The question last week prompted a capacity crowd to jam Helsinki's Conservatory of Music to hear a famed but little-recorded visiting pianist play for the first time outside Russia. The answer came quickly. Without even waiting for the welcoming applause to die away, Sviatoslav Richter launched into Beethoven's Sonata in D, and both audience and critics knew almost at once that they were listening to one of the world's great pianists at the top of his form.

The main program was devoted to four Beethoven sonatas, to which Richter added works by Schubert,...

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