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Classical - Released January 13, 2017 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
This release by the Russian-Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg stands out from the host of other recordings of Shostakovich's piano concertos by virtue of the two additional works on the album: arrangements of string quartet music by Shostakovich for piano, with the arrangements by Giltburg himself. First the good news: the concerto performances here are very strong. Especially attractive is the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102, where Giltburg slows down enough to let the music breathe and seems cognizant of the concerto's origins as a gift for the composer's son, Maxim. Giltburg is ideally backed by transparent textures from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Vasily Petrenko. Sample the irrepressible finale; it rivals the popular recording of this concerto by Leonard Bernstein in the 1960s and is perhaps even lighter in spirit. The piano transcriptions do not work as well. The little third-movement waltz from the String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68, transfers effectively with its motor rhythms, but Giltburg seems to be building toward the full arrangement of the String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110, at the end. The idea makes sense in view of the motivic connections between the quartet and the Piano Concerto No. 2, and in view of the fact that the quartet is probably already better known in a string orchestra arrangement than in its original form. But the agonized dissonant chords that define the whole quartet just don't have their proper impact here. Nevertheless, this release, with intelligent notes by Giltburg, deserves a place in Shostakovich collections. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 1, 2013 | Orchid Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 2, 2015 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released May 6, 2016 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
Boris Giltburg's 2016 release on Naxos consists of two sets of piano pieces by Sergey Rachmaninov, the Études-tableaux, Op. 39 (1916-1917), and the Moments musicaux, Op. 16 (1896). The Études-tableaux are a cross between technical studies and character pieces, reminiscent of the etudes of Frédéric Chopin, and they present considerable challenges, even to virtuoso pianists. Here, Giltburg displays his remarkable skills, as well as a range of expressions that run from the fiery and turbulent to the atmospheric and melancholy. In the Moments musicaux, Rachmaninov experimented with short forms, such as the nocturne, etude, funeral march, barcarolle, and theme with variations, and these pieces demonstrated his mastery of piano technique, if not yet his full maturity as a composer. Giltburg's playing brings out a variety of colors and textures, and his passionate interpretations accord with Rachmaninov's youthful, ardent style. The recording in the Concert Hall, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth offers a big sound with great resonance, though all the details of the music are easily heard, thanks to close microphone placement. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 11, 2018 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
While Israeli-Russian pianist Boris Giltburg’s career is taking off all over the world, he has felt very close to Belgium ever since he won first prize in the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition. After several recordings for EMI (Warner), here he gives a studio rendition of the Third Concerto, and the Variations on a Theme of Corelli by Sergei Rachmaninov, on his tenth album for Naxos, which completes his often-unique approach to the Russian pianist-composer. The Études-tableaux and the Second Concerto divided opinion, with some seeing him as a "new Glenn Gould" (sic) who would do away with routines, while others drew attention to the total indifference of his style. Boris Giltburg's technique is such that he can give free rein to his imagination while taking care of the minute details of one of the most difficult concertos in the repertoire. Fascinated by the manufacture of instruments, in 2016 he took up the new 102-key piano from French manufacturer Stephen Paulello, a thrilling instrument which the musical world has been eagerly anticipating for a long time, and which proves that, just like in the 19th century, the piano can still evolve towards other sounds. For this Concerto n° 3, recorded at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall, Boris Giltburg returns to his dear Fazioli piano and is joined by Mexican conductor Carlo Miguel Prieto at the head of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 4, 2012 | Orchid Classics

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
Sergey Prokofiev's so-called War Sonatas weren't originally given that title, and the first of them was premiered by the composer in 1940, before the Soviet Union entered World War II. They were, however, conceived as a group, and as Russian-Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg points out in his notes, the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s easily provided an alternate source of gloom and stress for the composer. At any rate, these three piano sonatas are documents of their time. Not explicitly referential to or evocative of external events like many of Shostakovich's works of the same period, they offer agitated, swirling, and structurally detailed opening movements and brutally difficult, mechanistic finales softened only by small episodes and by tender slow movements that seem to reflect Prokofiev's growing involvement with Mira Mendelson, soon to become his second wife. These are remarkable depictions of calm within the most intense storms imaginable. These sonatas were specialties of the great Russian pianists of the middle 20th century, Sviatoslav Richter above all, but those wanting a version that's sonically more up-to-date (and actually quite well recorded although graphically challenged) might consider this one by one of the many young pianists emerging from the still-vibrant Russian system. Giltburg is not the most profoundly expressive pianist on the scene, but he's there where it counts in these sonatas: in the finales where virtuosity becomes expressive of how modern humans are in the grip of relentless powers beyond themselves. These are, in a word, exciting performances, and they make one look forward to Giltburg's takes on other repertory that lies near the edge of the piano's technical possibilities. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 12, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Although he now lives in Israel and was mostly trained there, pianist Boris Giltburg is a representative of the pure Russian school -- powerful, brilliant, and sweeping. Rachmaninov ought to be his métier, and so it is. For clean passagework at the highest possible skill level, Giltburg is a pianist to turn to now, and where the excitement is built into the piano writing, so to speak, the spirit of Rachmaninov himself will seem to breathe in his playing. Sample the Prelude in C minor, Op. 23, No. 7, which begins with almost impossible speed and then adds multiple counterpoints; few pianists can hold the whole structure gently in hand the way Giltburg can. The famous prelude that announced Rachmaninov to the world, the Morceau de Fantaisie in C sharp minor, Op. 3, No. 2, has plenty of monumental power. Where Rachmaninov offers programmatic mystery, or approaches Chopin's rarefied world, Giltburg is merely good, not great. But go see him if he's in your town on tour with these: he's the type of player to bring the crowd to their feet, and this recording is as good a place as any to start with him. Giltburg benefits from fine sound engineering at the entirely acoustically appropriate Wyastone Estate concert hall. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 3, 2015 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 11, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Russian pianist Boris Giltburg gravitates toward the pure virtuoso tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries. As such, he's the subject of comparisons with Daniil Trifonov, but it's always better to take performances on their own terms. Giltburg does not have the poetic soul of Trifonov, but he is oriented toward setting up technical problems and then solving them in what can be a very exciting way. Sample the poetic and highly varied Transcendental Etude No. 4, "Mazeppa," which in Giltburg's hands is a rocking roller-coaster ride. Another virtue is the opening of Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto, S434, not often heard but typical of the music Liszt would have performed at the height of his fame; here too Giltburg has considerable élan. The final La leggierezza, from the Trois Etudes de Concert, S144, does not have quite the poetic impact one would hope for. The sound is unusually good on this Naxos release; engineers, working at the Wyastone Estate Concert Hall, are up close to Giltburg without going over the top. A generally worthy and enjoyable Liszt release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 4, 2020 | Naxos

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Classical - Released July 3, 2020 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
A long time ago, record companies would call upon the great Beethovenian musicians of the time to come and record their favourite works from his repertoire. Decca takes us back to this time with its re-release of two complete recordings of Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969) recorded in the early 1950s (monophonic), then for a second time between 1958 and 1968 (stereophonic). Over roughly the same period, Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991) recorded two complete cycles of Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas between 1951 and 1956 (monophonic) and then from 1964-1965 (stereophonic). As the pinnacle of the piano repertoire, his work is now being performed by a great number of pianists to celebrate 2020, the year of Beethoven. In some cases, this required learning most of the sonatas and playing them for the first time, whereas the two seasoned experts cited above are examples of musicians that had practised and played Beethoven’s music in public for decades. Kempff was already recording practically the entire Beethovenian repertoire as early as the 1930s, at just forty years old! Do today’s pianists record these significantly complex works too soon (or, perhaps, for the wrong reasons)? Continuing in the same vein as musicians such as Igor Levit, Fazil Say, Martin Rasch, Martino Tirimo, Konstantin Lifschitz and Konstantin Scherbakov, who are more or less young, Boris Giltburg leaves this question unanswered. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Boris Giltburg has set out to study and film all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas by the end of 2020. The project started as a personal exploration, driven by curiosity and his strong love of the Beethoven sonatas. These performances display Giltburg’s customary spirit and technical finesse, and also convey the electric atmosphere of the live recording. © Naxos
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Classical - Released August 7, 2020 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 16, 2020 | Naxos

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Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Naxos

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Beethoven’s first two piano concertos share an abundance of lyric and virtuosic qualities. Concerto No. 1 in C major is expansive and richly orchestrated with a sublime slow movement that is tender and ardent, and a finale full of inventive humour. Concerto No. 2 in B flat major marries energy with elegance, reserving poetic breadth for its slow movement and quirky wit for the finale. Also included is the jovial Rondo, WoO 6, which Beethoven originally intended to be the finale of Concerto No. 2. © Naxos
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Classical - Released January 8, 2021 | Naxos

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The great Beethovenian journey of Boris Giltburg continues on Naxos
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | Naxos

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Classical - Released March 5, 2021 | Naxos

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Classical - Released May 5, 2006 | Warner Classics