The foundation of the Label Live Classics emerged from our longstanding friendship with the violinist Oleg Kagan, the cellist Natalia Gutman, and the pianists Sviatoslav Richter and Elisso Wirssaladze. Lateron, the clarinetist Eduard Brunner, the pianist and composer Vassily Lobanov and the pianist Igor Shukov joined the group. With Oleg Kagan and his wife Natalia Gutman we suffered through the hard time of illness in the years 1989/90 and it was only natural that after Oleg’s death this family of musicians and friends had become much closer. At this time, we, together with Natalia Gutman and Elisso Wirssaladze started to define a conceptional basis of a publishing institution. The label Live Classics was meant to be instrumental in preserving the unique art of Oleg Kagan and to provide a platform for live recordings of outstanding concerts of our artists.
Maria E. Michel-Beyerle, Munich
One of the most fruitful musical partnerships in the last third of the 20th century was that of the Baltic violinist Oleg Kagan (1946 – 1990). Therefore it is no surprise that the Kagan and Friends Edition of the independent German label Live Classics has become as much as a testimony to the art of Richter as to that of its dedicatee Kagan. Richter’s authority in the solo repertoire, from the baroque music to masterworks of the classical, romantic and 20th-century music, is revealed in nearly a dozen of rare live material by Live Classics. But the plenitude of chamber music recordings in which Richter participates offers further insight into the interpretative art of this giant of the piano.
International Classical Record Collector 3/00
One will never praise enough the excellence of this collection of live recordings of which the first volumes have already enchanted us tremendously. An atmosphere of concert, and even quite often of a celebration can be found in all recordings witnessing the charisma and the freedom of this marvellous Russian violinist, who disappeared at the age of 44 and who was one of the preferential students of David Oistrakh.