- Aria and Toccata for Viola and Strings
- Blackberry Vines and Winter Fruit
- Concerto for Piano and Violas, Cellos and Basses
- Dusseldorf Concerto
- Eight Pieces for Orchestra
- Landscapes of the
- Landscapes of the
- Landscapes of the
- Out of Shadows and Solitude
- Quantum Quirks of a Quick Quaint Quark
- Seacliff Variations
- Sonata for Piano
- Spectral Chimes/
- String Quartet No. 2
- Variations and Interludes on Themes from Monteverdi and Bach
- Variations on a Sarabande
"There is no doubt about its success as a concert piece. Particularly striking...and beautiful...was the first part, a lyrical viola solo over the muted accompaniment of the other string players...The entire work has an independent musical force, and clearly belongs in the standard orchestral repertoire."
Madison Capital Times
"The solo instrument is set off against the string orchestra in ways that produce magical sound-effects."
Sept. 27, 1957
"..teeming with instrumental color and rhythmic life."
-Lawrence B. Johnson
"...there is quite a bit of beauty in the music. The materials and textures...are often reminiscent of Ives...(but) there is something authentic and moving about Miss Richter's moody score."
The New York Times
"I do not recall hearing a new piano concerto with such keen interest since the second concerto of Ravel was unveiled. The strong tawny color of the piece is one of its special virtues; others are its wealth of modal-sounding melody, its crackling energy, and its shrewdly placed contrasts whereby a work of small proportions takes on large importance. Above everything, the concerto communicates a sense of adventure. It goes places. And so does the colossal virtuosity of Masselos."
The San Fransisco Chronicle
Dec. 12, 1957
"Few composers can control the resources found in her works, and even fewer can elicit from them such unusually expressive results. Both the control and the expression indicate an artistic imagination of remarkable power and subtlety."
"The Richter piece was by turns haunting and soothing. A strong framework of repeated progressions is decorated with well-places melodies."
-Adam Z. Horvath
"a skillful handling of means resulted in a completely finished work…the endeavor of a serious artist and composer to contend with."
-Basil De Pinto
"...her pointillistic Eight Pieces becomes attractive lyricism"
Clavier Companion, Vol. 4, No. 2
"Her music is craggy, uncompromising, and profound; it is fresh and fascinating; it is beautiful. Its sound is dissonant but not atonal, its style is laconic – nearly pointillistic, but not serial. She handles a large and complex orchestra with utmost assurance – always achieving a sought-after effect with precision."
The Long Islander
"The five pieces which made up "Fragments" occupied barely a minute each. They had what the composer rightly characterized as a 'brooding, melancholy feeling', or what one of the players [youth orchestra] told her was a spooky sound. With the connections between the pieces clear in some echoing of themes, the whole was linked into a framework which was lean and inventive. Having heard the sometimes eloquent orchestration, it was difficult to imagine the 'fragments' as a work for piano."
-Abe D. Jones Jr.
Greensboro News Record
"…Richter writes music of uncommon accessibility…The work is incantory, modal, only mildly dissonant. It is somber in mood…yet with a restraint that allows no room for..unrelieved desolateness."
The Greensboro Record
"The Lament is a short piece of great eloquence, expressiveness, and harmonic subtlety."
Dec. 9, 1956
"That Richter's consummate essay for string orchestra is back in the recorded repertoire is reason alone to cheer this CD. The main function of this recording should be to remind someone out there that this is a major work looking for its rightful place in the repertoire."(Review of Leonarda CD 327)
Kansas City Star
"...the piece challenges, compels, soothes, stimulates, and ultimately enthralls."
The Atlanta Constitution/
The Atlanta Journal
"...an undeniable triumph...It seems like a succession of craggy, smouldering mental images malignantly parading past like figures on a Hellenic frieze."
-Lawrence W. Cheek
Tucson Daily Citizen
"This concerto, a well-crafted blend of realism and transcendentalism, and of East and West, is unconventional but not eccentric, occasionally dissonant but never offensive, individualistic and original but not avant-garde. It is a complex but uncomplicated psychomusical experience that is immediately accessible, emotionally appealing, and has an uncanny amount of common sense. Richter is hardly the first Westerner to have married the East and West, but no one has blended the two with such imaginatively brilliant osmosis. And therein lies the miraculous genius of this concerto, a work that deserves a place in the repertoire of any orchestra worth its salt."
-Robert L. Cherry
"...one of the most attractive contemporary pieces I have heard in a long time."
"…none of the unviolinistic effects of which many contemporary composers are found. Throughout there is a certain haunted quality."
-John Von Rhein
May 15, 1979
"A marvelously, moody, impressionistic work."
New York Daily News
"The music is interesting and satisfying, and on first hearing a creditable companion for some of the other works on the program, which included Bach, Franck and Beethoven."
April 28, 1977
"…a haunting trio…a humdinger piece, lyrical and nostalgic but up to the minute in style."
The San Francisco Chronicle
May 6, 1979
"Richter's third 'Landscapes' had a reflective, rather hypnotic feeling…"
June 9, 1979
"Part of this piece's excruciating tension arises from not knowing what's going to happen next…Perhaps most compelling is the conclusion that…preserves its complexity even while its strength slowly ebbs away."
"It is short, fast, bumptious, and indeed quick, quaint and quirky. If there is irony in this piece…where Richter affectionately mocks boogie-woogie, writes a waltz in five-four time, or deconstructs Antonio Soler's Fandango…it's all offered in the spirit of…merry good cheer…apparent right from the opening phrase…played in parallel by the oddest of odd couples- a piccolo and a contra-basson!"
-Mark L. Lehman
"He (Richard Zimdars) captures the mesmerizing simplicity of Richter's Remembrances..."
Clavier Companion, Vol. 4, No. 2
"I consider it the most evocative piece of 20th Century music I've ever played...I did not believe a piece of such depth could be written today"
-Pianist Selma Epstien
"An impression of suspended gravity breaks forth, as if the composer wished, with torrents of notes, to overwhelm everything which she had hidden in silence all the years of her life"
-Critic Eva-Elizabeth Fischer
on Herbert Henck's performance
in Cologne, W. Germany
"...greatly inspired by your Requiem...have never heard such a composition. I only learned the name of the composer afterwards and I had the hopes that this composer was still among the living."
-German conductor and poet Francisco Tanzer
Letter after hearing the work on West German Radio
"...the impact so powerful and deep, so revealing...so personal...you succeeded in conveying a universal concept of your message as well as a personal deep emotion involving the listener."
-Israeli pianist and teacher Perry Roth
"The most satisfying work on the program was Marga Richter's REQUIEM, a...melancholy and often heavenly piece with an almost Romantic intensity."
Charleston News and Courier/
The Evening Post
"An impression...breaks forth as if the composer wished to overwhelm with torrents of notes everything...she had hidden in silence all the years of her life."(translation from German)
"The theme is primarily tonal, in the minor mode, with dissonances used as a means to emphasize rather than as an end. The writing is extraordinarily powerful, building an emotional tension right from the opening notes that rivets you to your seat until the finish. This is not music for the brain, to be analyzed and intellectualized; it is also not musical wallpaper, to be put on while you paint the kitchen. You listen to this music with your soul."
-Steven L. Rosenhaus
"While they may not receive top billing, Marga Richter's works are in my view the real sleeper on this recording. In particular, the Sonata, which was written in 1954 (when Richter was only 28), reveals the mind of a fully realized master composer. It os a whale of a listener. Although the last movement bears a striking resemblance to Bartok, for the most part, Richter seems to have already found her voie. Even though Zimdars' recording is my introduction to the piece, I have no doubt that Richter's Sonata is one of the most important works written for the piano after 1950."
-Radu A. Lelutio
"The Sonata is a huge, formidable, complex and highly dramatic work, but one in which every usage is logically accounted for, and the whole adds up to an extremely vital and rewarding musical communication."
"It is a stark, lean, graceful work, absolutely bare of gimmicks…savagely imaginative in pure, vibrant colors and dramatic, often angry rhythms. Not only is there musical insight here, but poetic insight as well. This work is brilliantly expressive of its time…"
"What an incredibly fine and powerful work this sonata is…I remain puzzled that it isn't better known"
"…(the work is) a remarkable synthesis of complex scoring, rigorous structural integrity, and a deeply-felt emotion that…encompasses impassioned defiance, granitic strength, evocative mystery, forlorn majesty, and, ultimately, stoic resignation."
"Her orchestral scores show a composer who has total command of orchestral sonorities, used with considerable panache, and a potent melodic conception."
"An outstanding Prelude and Fugue. It is a work of stature and technical ability free of academic restraint. It would be a pleasure to hear it again and again."
The Southampton Press
March 22, 1973
"(The) work is so idiosyncratic that it's tough to say much. What I mean by that is that I know nothing even remotely like it in form and style. The first hearing left me shocked, frankly, even exasperated: "What the hell is this? What does she think she is doing?" But I recognized right away that this is a work that defines its own category, so I made a point of listening to it multiple times until I 'got' it. There's some irony here, I think. Superficially, one could argue that the concerto is one of your more conservative works, i.e., clearly defined motifs, even tunes, traditional variation structure, excursions into a sort of lush neo-Brahmsian 'romantic' expression, etc., etc. But …about the music of yours I happen to know is especially true of this concerto, I think…there's something wild and very strange about it, something inimitable, personal, unforgettable; this music doesn't sound like anybody else's, and the musical intelligence – the way the composer's mind works – is likewise distinctive. And all of this is good, of course, very good. But because of it – again, the irony –the concerto, upon first encounter, may be one of the toughest works of yours for audiences to grasp."
-Michael Redmond, critic
Excerpts from an email
December 8, 2009
"You have written the finest triple concerto I have ever heard!! …The cello cadenza is truly masterful in its sheer musicianship. .. and the ending? Wow! I almost cried! Such a beautiful work. I didn't like it because it's 'more romantic' - I loved it because it is so perfectly written."
-Letter from Robert Lee Tipps, critic
"I listened to your triple concerto twice and the second time I started to love it. It is a masterpiece. The work is very modern but is deeply rooted in Bach and Monteverdi as stated. It is at times deep, tragic, and then whimsical. I especially liked the reference to Bach's Prelude in C which emerges from an agitato section and comes in like a wonderful balm although there are melancholy understated background themes running through. Then it evolves into a cello cadenza which is extraordinarily Bach-like but still Richterian…Then there is a wonderful orchestral section..which is Bach, Mahler and Richterian. ( And)..then a tender, touching Chopinesque ending by the piano. You achieved a state of grace in writing this piece."
-Letter from Murray Cohen, composer
"What you have written is absolutely wonderful. I sit at my desk and have a fabulous time attempting to learn/study what you have put on paper in such an ingenious and extraordinary manner…I am so intrigued by your remarkable creativity…your sense of architecture is a wonderment."
-Conductor Sheldon Morgenstern
"...with clashing harmonies and melodic lines...it was fascinating how quickly the repeated pattern was grasped and how each variation took on more interest. By the end, one might have wished for even more."
The Appleton (WI) Post Crescent