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Classical - Released August 19, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In the early 1960s, with the first wave of Russian virtuosi continuing to make waves in the West, extraordinary recitals spread beyond the usual American concert centers of New York and Boston. This recording reproduces an Emil Gilels concert given in Seattle in December of 1964, and it captures the pianist's tremendous energy and the energy of the audience's response as well. The Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") was one of Gilels' trademarks. You might want this release just for the performance of that work alone, with its surging double-octave scales in the finale letting the audience know that it's in for something special. There are many other highlights: Prokofiev that seems perfectly idiomatic, a stirring "Danse Russe" of Stravinsky (another Gilels trademark), a group of Debussy's Images that is hardly conventional, but seems inexorably swept along by the whirlwind of the whole. Everything comes to rest with an Alexander Siloti arrangement of a Bach prelude. Gilels in the 1960s was not quite the household name that Sviatoslav Richter was, but, admired by Rachmaninov and directly connected to Prokofiev, he perhaps represented pure Russian tradition in a way that no other pianist of his time did. This Deutsche Grammophon release gives a good idea of his accomplishments. The sound certainly isn't spectacular, but for 1964 its immediacy and clarity are reasonable. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 26, 2013 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason