Immortal Homosexual Poets

Michael Finnissy at Artforum:

In 1975, Finnissy witnessed Soviet pianist Sviatoslav Richter perform Beethoven’s sonata to a standing-room only Royal Festival Hall. Coming on stage wearing what appeared to be carpet slippers and barely acknowledging the audience, Richter, Finnissy suggested in a prerecorded preconcert interview, played with an utterly uncompromising, unflashy focus, as if in private communion with Beethoven. “The pianist,” suggested Richter, “shouldn’t dominate the music, but should dissolve into it.” Finnissy has long pondered that intangible quality of Richter’s work, but in the light of subsequent revelations in Karl Aage Rasmussen’s 2007 biography Sviatoslav Richter: Pianist as to his queerness—his life partnership with soprano Nina Dorliak, herself queer, was not a sexual one—the obliqueness of his style took on new dimensions.

more here.