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Richter: The Enigma (1998)

TV Movie  |   |  Music, Documentary
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At the end of his life - he died on August 1st, 1997 -, the great Russian pianist agreed to talk in front of a camera to Bruno Monsaingeon. In a conversation interspersed with fascinating ... See full summary »


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Title: Richter: The Enigma (TV Movie 1998)

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Cast overview:
Svyatoslav Richter ...
Himself (as Sviatoslav Richter)


At the end of his life - he died on August 1st, 1997 -, the great Russian pianist agreed to talk in front of a camera to Bruno Monsaingeon. In a conversation interspersed with fascinating archive footage, Richter presents us with his memoirs from beyond the grave. Composed of two seventy-seven-minute episodes, this film is among those that leave a lasting impression. Written by Anonymous

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Music | Documentary




Also Known As:

Richter, l'insoumis  »

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Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #15.3 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Biographical cinema at its' perfection
8 September 2002 | by (Hamburg) – See all my reviews

Biographical films are often permeated with suggestions made by the director regarding the person portrayed. These may be positive or negative - either way, they form a highly subjective pattern through which the viewer is then forced to perceive the given protagonist. Monsaingeon however, with this movie succeeded at the opposite: making a -relatively- objective portait of S. Richter. Relative inasmuch, as it is exclusively Richter himself who, by means of his music and own words, reveals himself to the viewer. Thanks to the cut, scenes from various interviews, concerts and relevant historical events (Stalin's funeral, for instance) interchange perfectly - the film appears like a stream of memories, with Richter in the center, leafing through his diary. Another crucial point when portraying a musician is the choice of samples from his/her music. Again, Monsaingeon did an excellent job, since the chosen pieces, from Bach to Schostakowicz, give a good impression of the enormous scope Richter's repertoire had. The Movie begins and ends with the Andante from Schubert's last sonata. The performance of this very sonata was appreciated even by Glenn Gould, who, praising Richter, said he had 'bypassed the performing mechanism creating the illusion of a direct link' between the listener and the music. Here, Monsaingeon's achievement is comparable to a certain extent: as far as possible: the film enables the viewer to learn something about Richter himself.

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