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Pianist Emil Gilels: The 100th Anniversary Edition / Leonid Kogan, Dmitri Tsyganov, Rudolf Barshai, Mstislav Rostropovich, Dan il Shafran, Sergei Shirinsky, Yakov Zak [50 CDs]

Notes & Reviews:

For the 100th anniversary of Emil Gilels, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, Firma Melodiya presents an anthology of his pianistic legacy. The Melodiya anniversary release covers Gilelsís almost entire life in music from his first studio recording of 1935 (Lisztís Fantasy on Themes from Mozartís The Marriage of Figaro, the number with which young Gilels caused a furor at the competition) to the artistís last performance in Moscow in 1984 with Beethovenís Hammersklavier Sonata. Most part of the set is dedicated to live broadcasts that captured the pianistís extensive repertoire Ė from Scarlatti and Bach to Shostakovich and Stravinsky, including a number of never-before-released interpretations such as Scriabinís Sonata No. 1, Bachís Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, Handelís Chaconne, Borodinís Scherzo etc. The art of Gilels as an ensemblist is represented with his collaborations with the greatest Soviet performers such as Leonid Kogan, Mstislav Rostropovich and Rudolf Barshai. The recordings with the pianistís sister, remarkable violinist Elizaveta Gilels are worth a special mention. Emil Gilels played with the worldís best orchestras, and this release features the prominent Soviet conductors Konstantin Ivanov, Kirill Kondrashin, Rudolf Barshai and Evgeny Svetlanov accompanying the pianist.


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