Music: Genius Unbound

When Sviatoslav Richter first stepped out from behind the Iron Curtain two years ago, the chorus of praise that greeted him carried one hesitant note. Richter is a great pianist, the critics decreed, "in the Russian style." Last week, after Richter gave three recitals in Paris and appeared in a new German recording of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, the European press revised its first estimates. Said the Paris Art: "Sviatoslav Richter is the greatest pianist in the world."

The hint of provincialism in Richter's earlier style had at first deterred critics from such bold...

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