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From the publisher
'To Richter (no first name necessary), warm greetings to the best pianist in the Soviet Union - indeed in the whole world.' Prokofiev Throughout a life dedicated to music, Richter maintained a stubborn silence about his own ideals and aspirations. Here at last he opens up his heart in these exceptional interviews with Bruno Monsaingeon, who became close to Richter not long before the pianist's death in 1995. These conversations take us on a journey which begins with Richter's childhood memories, follows his early career and his development into 'an artist of the people', and finally charts his rise to international acclaim. Richter's personal notebooks, kept for nearly thirty years, constitute an unparalleled witness to the music of our time. The pianist writes with precision, humour and clarity and is uninhibitedly himself. These are the private thoughts of a nonconformist, one of the greatest performers of the century, yet one whose life was inextricably bound to the history of the USSR.