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Emil Gilels: Piano Sonatas

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 13, 2009
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sonata for keyboard in D minor, K. 141 (L. 422)
  2. Sonata for keyboard in F major, K. 518 (L. 116)
  3. Sonata for keyboard in D minor, K. 32 (L. 423)
  4. Sonata for keyboard in F minor, K. 466 (L. 118)
  5. Sonata for keyboard in A major, K. 533 (L. 395)
  6. Sonata for keyboard in B minor, K. 27 (L. 449)
  7. Sonata for keyboard in G major, K. 125 (L. 487)
  8. Pour le piano, suite for piano, L. 95: Prélude
  9. Pour le piano, suite for piano, L. 95: Sarabande
  10. Pour le piano, suite for piano, L. 95: Toccata
  11. Reflets dans l'eau, for piano, L. 110/1
  12. Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90: 1. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck
  13. Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90: 2. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen
  14. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30: 1. Andante
  15. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30: 2. Prestissimo volando
  16. Visions fugitives (20), for piano, Op. 22: No. 1. Lentamente - No. 3. Allegretto - No. 5. Molto giocoso - No. 10. Ridicolosamente - N
  17. Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor ('From Old Notebooks'), Op. 28


Product Details

  • Composer: Scarlatti, Beethoven, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Debussy
  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BBC Legends
  • ASIN: B002JIBC94
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,640 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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In the vast output of old Emil Gilels recordings of all kinds, this is not among the foremost ones, but still a very interesting CD; often the remastering is disturbingly hollow and reverberating, causing a not altogether pleasant sound. Gilels liked to play some of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas, but the seven here chosen from a concert in St.John's 1984, the year before his death, do not sound as ravishingly clear and classicistically authentic as those on an earlier record from the BBC Legends' inexhaustable supply (4015-2, 1999), recorded in 1957. Four of those are given here too, though in mostly slower tempi and in a slightly more Romantic style. All the same we get three new sonatas on this new CD(Kk518, 32 and 466), all of them very satisfying to listen to, particularly Kk 32, a breathlessly solemn and peaceful item. The highlights of this record, however, despite some tin-like noises, are the Debussy issues from the same concert 1984: Pour le Piano and Reflets dans l'eau. In comparison with older recordings of these pieces as early as 1954 (Brilliant Classics Gilels Edition), these are glorious and mature interpretations and much to prefer in their slower tempi. Also the Beethoven sonata No 27 in E minor, now from a recording in Memorial Hall in 1957, is extremely pleasing, as everything else Gilels made of Beethoven; he seems not to have been able to perform Beethoven sonatas without an exceptional result. But the weak point of this new record is, I think, the contributions of Russian composers like Scriabin and Prokofiev. The latter's Visions fugitives are nice and enjoyable trifles.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This disc contains music from two BBC recitals given by Emil Gilels. The older recital, recorded in 1957, has sonatas by Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Scriabin. The newer recital, from 1984, has music by Debussy and Scarlatti. I am a huge admirer of Gilels's Scarlatti performances, which are played slowly and with this artist's legendary piano tone. The Debussy recorded here is also highly distinguished. The Beethoven sonata is masterful, though the sound is not as clear as in his cycle for DG. Fans of Gilels need not hesitate.
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