There is still something powerful and mysterious about opening a window on the earliest documented decade of Richter’s career. The two items which begin Disc 2 of this set are the earliest reliably authenticated recordings of Richter performances yet published. The remaining material in this set is also thoroughly authentic, including a complete recital from 1948.
How is it possible that recordings from these years have been preserved in such good sound quality? As the war ended, the victorious Russians commandeered German recording equipment and microphones. Russian engineers quickly learned to use this equipment, so that high quality tape recordings were being produced in Russia even before the Western recording and broadcasting companies started using tape. (Bing Crosby’s radio show was the first American program to be recorded on tape, in 1947, using Ampex machines based on the German Magnetophon.) The recordings included in this set all originated as tapes.
Unlike the Richter in the 1950s series, all of these recordings have previously been published, although in obscure and now-unobtainable editions. Although these items are not entirely new, we felt that few collectors have had access to them previously.
Disc 1 (Total running time 68:25)
[1-6] Bach: Capriccio on the departure of his beloved brother, BWV 992 9:56
[7-9] Bach: Sonata in D, BWV 963 10:30
[10-11] Beethoven: Sonata No. 22, in F, Op. 54 10:59
[12-14] Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op. 17 29:49
[15-16] Bach: English Suite No. 3, in G, BWV 808–Sarabande 7:02
November 27, 1948
Disc 2 (Total running time 69:51)
[1-4] Beethoven: Sonata No. 3, in C, Op. 2, No. 3 24:29
 Kreisler-Rachmaninov: Liebeslied 5:51
May 30, 1947
[6-8] Beethoven: Sonata No. 9, in E, Op. 14, No. 1 14:01
June 5, 1947
 Bach: Sonata in D, BWV 963 10:35
Oct. 14, 1947
 Liszt: Annêes de pèlerinage, Year 3: Aux cyprès de la Villa d’este 6:51
 Rachmaninov: Prelude in G# Minor, O;. 32, No. 12 3:08
 Rachmaninov: Melody in E, Op. 3, No. 3 5:30
April 4, 1949, Igumnov Memorial Concert