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Gilels Plays Beethoven & Weber

> Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, "Waldstein" - I. Allegro con brio
> Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, "Waldstein" - II. Introduzione: Adagio molto -
> Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, "Waldstein" - III. Rondo: Allegretto moderato
> 12 Variations on a Russian Dance from Wranitzky's Das Waldmadchen, WoO 71 - 12 Variations on a Russian Dance from Wranitzky's Das Waldmadchen, WoO 71
> 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80 - 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80
> Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39, J. 199 - I. Allegro moderato con spirito ed assai legato
> Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39, J. 199 - II. Andante
> Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39, J. 199 - III. Menuetto capriccioso: Presto assai - Trio
> Piano Sonata No. 2 in A flat major, Op. 39, J. 199 - IV. Rondo: Moderato e molto grazioso

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein"
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Piano in A major on a theme of Wranitzky, WoO 71
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (32) for Piano in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Sonata for Piano no 2 in A flat major, J 199/Op. 39
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Emil Gilels was one of the greatest interpreters of Beethoven during the second half of the twentieth century. One critic noted at this March 1968 concert: "In a superb piano recital at the Festival Hall yesterday afternoon Emil Gilels achieved a perfect compromise between the classical and romantic in Beethoven, doing so with tone as limpid and beautiful as can ever been heard on this platform." The rare Weber Piano Sonata No.2 concluded the recital which Gilels, by playing it slightly slower, notably in the first movement, brings a great deal of detail to his performance.

"Here is Emil Gilels, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century (he was always high on the list of what Arthur Rubinstein called his "first-raters") in all his imperious and aristocratic glory. Early in his career, when he first left the Soviet bloc countries, his playing was described in America as "stewed in Russian juices" and of a "blow-torch incandescence". Later his style altered, aiming at a greater degree of sobriety and introspection. But the essential qualities were invariably there: a tone which his mentor Heinrich Neuhaus considered be "rich in noble metal, 20 carat gold, that we find in the voices of the great singers", and of a warmth and humanity that could reduce his outsize audiences to tears. And so it is here in recital taken from the Royal Festival Hall in 1968.

His Beethoven, while not to everyone's taste, is mesmeric in its imperturbable mastery. The Waldstein Sonata in particular is more a calm flow of events rather than a river in full spate, though the prestissimo coda is a glorious virtuoso dash to the finishing line. Both sets of variations are given with a peerless pianistic grace and mastery, and the virtuosity and charm of his Weber A flat Sonata release all of its courtly elegance. All of this is familiar Gilels repertoire; yet hearing it again, live, and in such excellent transfers is a reminder of a pianist as lovable as he was formidable." -Gramophone Awards, 2010 / Historic Archive nominee



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein"
  • Performer: Emil Gilels (Piano)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1803-1804

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (12) for Piano in A major on a theme of Wranitzky, WoO 71
  • Performer: Emil Gilels (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1796-1797

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (32) for Piano in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80
  • Performer: Emil Gilels (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1806

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Sonata for Piano no 2 in A flat major, J 199/Op. 39
  • Performer: Emil Gilels (Piano)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1814-1816