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Retrospective 1

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 20, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Partia No.1 In B Flat: Prelude
  2. Partia No.1 In B Flat: Sarabande
  3. Partia No.1 In B Flat: Minuets
  4. Partia No.1 In B Flat: Gigue
  5. Bagatelle In E Flat, Op. 33 No.1
  6. Sonata No. 20 In G Op. 49 No. 2: Allegro ma non troppo
  7. Sonata No. 20 In G Op. 49 No. 2: Tempo di minuetto
  8. Sonata No. 30 In E Op. 109: Vivace
  9. Sonata No. 30 In E Op. 109: Prestissimo
  10. Sonata No. 30 In E Op. 109: Adante
  11. Intermezzo
  12. Capriccio
  13. Adante and Rondo Capriccio
  14. Arbesque In E No.1
  15. Arbesque InG No.2
  16. Mouvements Perpetuels: I
  17. Mouvements Perpetuels: II
  18. Mouvements Perpetuels: III
  19. Barcarolle Op. 60
  20. Noctorin No.4 In Eb Op. 36
  21. Four Peices, Op. 51: Fragilite
  22. Four Peices, Op. 51: Prelude
  23. Four Peices, Op. 51: Poeme Aile
  24. Four Peices, Op. 51: Danse Languide


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 20, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pearl
  • ASIN: B000000WXF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,087 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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The pianist Walter Gieseking is still very much a presence in CD listings and catalogues almost fifty years after his death. Several of his Debussy recordings remain at the top of the list of recommended versions and are still being regularly reissued.
Much of the material in this CD has had very limited circulation, and several items are published for the first time. There is some sprightly playing in the Bach Partita, but what is here is incomplete and was recorded in 1940 and 1934. Gieseking's way of making everything seem simple and clear has rarely endeared his Beethoven playing to me. It's appropriate for the Sonata No 20 perhaps, but this 15 minute performance of the Sonata No 30 is not a success. The Brahms and Chopin items are similarly run through at top speed, but here some of the magic comes across. Works by Faure and Scriabin occupy the last five tracks. Hitherto unpublished, they are amongst the best recordings here. Some of the source material in the early tracks betrays its slightly damaged 78 origin.
So this is like the curate's egg - good in parts. It forms the first of a three volume "retrospective", its duration is 78 minutes, and it includes authoritative notes by Allan Evans.
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The only review to-date here of this fine issue has re-sparked my curiosity for Gieseking. I've owned this disc for many a year, buried beneath piles of others. Imagine my delight upon rescuing and replaying it! There is not one false note, not one, from first to last track. This man was a pianist's pianist, possessing unparalleled sensitivity combined with a sense of style and proportion that is indeed very rare. Each key he presses turns to a gem. Simply miraculous. Would that we had ONE active pianist today (that's all I am asking for, one only) who could shine Gieseking's shoes. I can't wait to explore Volumes 2 and 3 of this retrospective, if I can locate them.
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Retrospective 1
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Price: $17.84
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