Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Emil Gilels Plays Rachmaninov, Schumann & Brahms

Emil Gilels is on fine form in these live performances taped December 24-27, 1977 (sonic differences lead me to suspect that the Rachmaninov and Brahms items stem from one concert ; the Schumann another). He deploys his tonal largesse and golden legato to lovely, expansive effect in the two Rachmaninov transcriptions and Prelude selections. The famous C-sharp minor Prelude gets a brooding, subjective reading where the bass notes occupy center stage. In the Op. 23 No. 2 Prelude, Gilels fully articulates the rolling left-hand patterns, creating a weightier, more majestic sound world than we often hear in this piece (Richter’s leaner, lither account, for instance).
Schumann’s rarely-performed Romanze, Gigue, Fughette, and Scherzo group stands out for the pianist’s rhythmic drive and attention to inner voices. The Brahms Op. 10 Ballades follow similar interpretive lines to Gilels’ contemperaneous studio counterparts for DG. Much as I admire the latter for their surface polish and long-lined perception, I find the live performances warmer in tone and more communicatively phrased (cases in point: the insistent triplets in No. 1's central section, No. 3's unison scales, and No. 4's tempo fluctuations). The ample and resonant sonics are quite agreeable in the Rachmaninov and Brahms, in contrast to the distant microphone placement and hollower resonance we hear in the Schumann. Incidentally, this release first appeared in the late 1990s on the defunct Revelation label. Although Yedang’s remastering sounds a tiny bit fuller, those who own the Revelation disc need not upgrade.
Jed Distler

Source :

Emil Gilels
Rachmaninov, Schumann


Serguei Rachmaninov

1 Daisies, Op. 38 n° 3  2:23
2 Vocalise, Op. 34 n° 14  5:52
3 Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 3  3:51
4 Prelude in B-flat Major, Op. 32 n° 2  3:31
5 Prelude in G-flat Major, Op. 23 n° 10  3:18
6 Prelude in B Major, Op. 32 n° 11  2:24
7 Prelude in G Minor, Op. 12 n° 5  3:48


Robert Schumann

Klavierstücke, Op. 32
8 I. Romanze. Sehr rasch und mit bravour  4:17
9 II. Gigue. Sehr schnell  1:22
10 III. Fughette. Leis  3:59
10 IV. Scherzo. Sehr markiert  2:26


Johannes Brahms

Four Ballades, Op. 10
12 I. Andante  4:43
13 II. Andante  6:39
14 III. Intermezzo. Allegro
15 IV. Andante con moto  7:21


Emil Gilels - p

Recorded at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire ; December 24-27, 1977


Melanchthon said...

Frasco said...

Excellent share, Melanchthon, thank you very much!

Alberto Cos said...

Merci beaucoup!

glinka21 said...

Good job, Mel. Gilels was a worldbeater when he was on form. His technique tended to be uneven in later years, but there are live late releases that show him incomparably more exciting than even his greatest rivals at the time. And no, I'm not going to say Richter's name. ;)