Emil Gilels

BBC Legends: BBCL42612

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Emil Gilels

Catalogue No:

BBCL42612

Series:

Pianists

Release date:

1st Sept 2009

Barcode:

0684911426120

Length:

79 minutes

Medium:

download only
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Emil Gilels


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90

Debussy:

Reflets dans l'eau (No. 1 from Images pour piano - Book 1)

Pour le piano

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 1

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 3

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 5

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 10

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 11

Visions fugitives, Op. 22, No. 17

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K141 in D minor

Keyboard Sonata K518 in F major

Keyboard Sonata K32 in D minor

Keyboard Sonata K533 in A major

Keyboard Sonata K27 in B minor

Keyboard Sonata K125 in G major

Keyboard Sonata K466 in F minor

Scriabin:

Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30


Emil Gilels (piano)

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Recorded: St. John’s, Smith Square, London, 15 October 1984 (Scarlatti, Debussy)

Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London, 22 April 1957 (Beethoven, Scriabin, Prokofiev)

This CD contains some of the first and last recordings the great Russian pianist Emil Gilels (1916-1985) made for the BBC. The lunchtime concert at the church of St. John's, in Smith Square, London on 15 October 1984 was to be his last performance in London.

Gilels liked to play a selection of Scarlatti's sonatas - what he referred to as 'a bouquet'. He included five of them on his first BBC Legends CD (BBCL40152) from his April 1957 BBC studio recording. Here we have another 7 Scarlatti sonatas recorded in excellent stereo.

Gilels first performed Debussy's 'Pour le Piano' in December 1953 only playing it a few times. After the mid 1950s, he did not play it again until the end of May 1984, five months prior to this stereo live concert. When referring to this concert Nicholas Kenyon wrote of Gilels performance of 'Pour le Piano'; 'But this is… more than the sheer creation of sound. For every wonderfully contrived sound reflects a conviction about the music: it is a total fusion of composer and interpreter that tells us for a few exalting moments, that the music can only sound this way.'

Although he toured the UK for the first time at the end of 1952, Gilels did not record for the BBC until April 1957. Apart from the five sonatas by Scarlatti which were issued on BBCL 4015-2, we have here works by Beethoven, Scriabin and Prokofiev. As persuasive and pliant as his performance is here, it would appear that Gilels did not play this sonata again until he came to record it commercially in the studio in 1974. From Scriabin's ten Piano Sonatas, Gilels only played No.1 in the early 1950s, No.3 only in 1983-84, and No.4 in 1955-57. In this performance of No. 4, Gilels ability to combine great delicacy and enormous controlled power are ideal for this work. From Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas Gilels only played Nos. 2, 3, 7 and 8.

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.141/L.422/P.271

Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.141/L.422/P.271

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in F major, K.518/L.116/P.390

Keyboard Sonata in F major, K.518/L.116/P.390

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.32/L.423/P.14

Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.32/L.423/P.14

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in F minor, K.466/L.118/P.501

Keyboard Sonata in F minor, K.466/L.118/P.501

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in A major, K.533/L.395/P.537

Keyboard Sonata in A major, K.533/L.395/P.537

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in B minor, K.27/L.449/P.83

Keyboard Sonata in B minor, K.27/L.449/P.83

Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonata in G major, K.125/L.487/P.152

Keyboard Sonata in G Major, K.125/L.487/P.152: Vivo

Claude Debussy: Pour le piano

I. Prelude

II. Sarabande

III. Toccata

Claude Debussy: Images, Book 1

Images, Book 1: No. 1. Reflets dans l'eau

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90

I. Mit lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck

II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen

Alexander Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30

I. Andante

II. Prestissimo volando

Sergey Prokofiev: Visions fugitives, Op. 22

I. Lentamente. III. Allegretto. V. Molto giocoso. X. Ridicolosamente. XI. Con vivacita. XVII. Poetico

Sergey Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28

BBC Music Magazine

Christmas 2009

****

“The Scarlatti, Debussy and Beethoven were recorded live in London in 1984, towards the end of Gilels's life; he's dazzling in the Russian repertoire captured in 1957. The later recital is magisterial, but he's struggling.”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2010

“…Emil Gilels… in all his imperious and aristocratic glory. Seven Scarlatti sonatas show him in an inimitable if unfashionable mood, slow and romantically free in the repeated notes of the D minor Sonata, Kk141. His Debussy…sings and expands in a style far remote from a more classic French performing tradition...”

The Guardian

18th September 2009

*****

“The Scarlatti sonatas have a crystalline purity and breathtaking range of articulation, while the Beethoven conveys all the wholeness missing from the Waldstein, and the Scriabin musters exactly the obsessive intensity such highly wrought music demands.”

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