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Emil Gilels - The Seattle Recital (1964), in premiere at CD Review on the 8th and 9th of December

Thursday, 8 December 2016 , ora 13.16

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I left here, in the States, a big part of my heart

Between 1955-1983, the great Russian pianist , Emil Gilels, has visited the United States of America 12 times. Unlike his coleague and rival, Sviatoslav Richter, Gilels loved the States. I first came here 22 years ago- he said in 1977. I left here, in the States, a big part of my heart and I left this place with a big part of my life.

The recital whom you'll listen in premiere on the 8th and 9th of December at CD Review was part of the 5th tour of Emil Gilels in the States. There were 3 very tough months for the artist, with concerts, recitals and recording sessions on the Eastern Coast, but also on the Western Coast in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and this recital at the Opera House in Seattle on the 6th of December 1964.

At that time, at 48 years old, Emil Gilels, by this recording, has left us a testimony of his mature artistic existence. The Seattle recital reflects idealy his huge temperement, a very persuasive portret of an artist who plays piano, mixing in a unique way kindness with furious passion.

It was a recital well-received by the audience at the Opera House in Seattle. The pianist himself was thrilled by the audience's entusiasm.He promised he'll come back, but it didn't happen very soon. On the stage in Seattle, Emil Gilels arrived in 1979 and the recordings of this recital is apparently an unknown treasure to the public.

An anniversary album

Deutsche Grammophon record company released this album meant to mark 100 years from the birth of one of the great pianists of the last century, Emil Gilels.And not just in any way, but by publishing for the first time the recordings of the recital which Emil Gilels held on the 6th of December 1964 at the Opera House in Seattle. The recital has been recorded for the pianist's personal archive and was unknown up until recently.

We'll listen to Gilels in his best shape in a recital with varied programme and wonderfully performed. The main attraction, in my oppinion, is Sonata no. 21 op. 53 in C Major "Waldstein" by Ludwig van Beethoven which Emil Gilels gives it an interpretation that is worthy of the work's fame. It's a more vivid version, more passionate than the studio recordings which the pianist left us of this work. Gilels is energetic, his performance underlines this thing beautifully the orchestral greatness of Beethoven's music.

You will also hear at CD Review to Emil Gilels playing with an almost breathless virtuosity and phrasing, Variations op. 2 for piano on the theme of Aria "La ci darem la mano" from"Don Giovanni" by Mozzart, composed by Frederic Chopin. Gilels' Chopin is aristocratic, the impecable technique must have been for the audience a true show.

The pianist included in the programme Sonata no. 3 op. 28 in A minor and a fragment of Visions fugitives Op. 22 by Serghei Prokofiev, but also Claude Debussy- Volume I "Images". Gilels creates in this work's performance the color strikes with a remarcable velvet on the keys, but adds the glow and passion which made him famous. It's an at least interesting performance, alive, full of well-thought contrasts shown by lightly touching the keyboard and also by bursting with entuziasm.

These are just a few of the reasons for why you should listen to a collection album in premiere at CD Review (12:15) on the 8th and 9th of December at Radio România Muzical.

Gabriel Marica
Translated by Matei Denisa
(MTTLC, University of Bucharest, 2nd year