Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
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Several long-deleted albums reissued in this comprehensive survey of Andrei Gavrilov's DG career: superbly engineered recordings of a pianist in the great Russian tradition.
For three years in the early 1990s, Andrei Gavrilov belonged to the Deutsche Grammophon stable of artists, alongside his contemporaries Krystian Zimerman and Ivo Pogorelich. Like them he had technique to burn and a searching approach to repertoire which in the hands of other pianists has often become an exhibition of facility. During that period he made nine albums, both revisiting classics of his repertoire and taking on new challenges. He also joined his Decca colleague Vladimir Ashkenazy for a Stravinsky disc which had critics purring over the dynamism and finesse of The Rite of Spring in its two-piano arrangement.
To begin with, the Impromptus of Schubert took some listeners aback with their restraint and simplicity of phrasing. His response to Chopin (Ballades and Second Sonata), Ravel (Gaspard de la nuit) and Prokofiev (sonatas and Romeo and Juliet) proved to be even fuller and deeper than in the 1980s recordings which had launched his international recording career after a spectacular triumph at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974. Gavrilov paid homage to his countryman Emil Gilels with a sublime selection from Grieg's Lyric Pieces, returned to the French Suites of Bach and set down a highly individual version of the Goldberg Variations, all graced with the sophistication of touch and colour at the piano which set him apart even from the most talented of his Russian contemporaries. Inspired by his friendship with Sviatoslav Richter, he even took on the piano parts for a selection of Britten choral works, in a Viennese-made recording.
This original covers box features new essays on the pianist and his career by Peter Quantrill and Peter Czornyj, Gavrilov's producer at Deutsche Grammophon.
"a Grieg recital that rivals Gilels (also on DG) in its pathos and poetry. With excellent sound, this has to be a top-ranking recommendation." â€“ Gramophone
One of the most attractive discs in the collection is the survey of twenty-four of Grieg's Lyric pieces. He includes some of the most popular, including To Spring, Butterfly, Remembrances and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. [â€¦]He captures the fleeting moods of each." â€“ MusicWeb International
"The Britten disc may seem like something of a rare bird, but the pianist had a long-standing love of Britten's music and had harboured a desire to record The Golden Vanity with the Vienna Boys Choir. [â€¦] The German boys sing in English with pristine intonation and total choral security. All told, the CD is a delightful rarity." â€“ MusicWeb International
"The production standards for this remarkable set are very high. The remasterings by Chris Bernauer are excellent and effective in every way. The accompanying booklet is enhanced by Peter Quantrill's and Peter Czornyj's informative notes, in addition to some fascinating photos. The original jacket artwork is another plus. This is a release which pianophiles will treasure." â€“ MusicWeb International
"A breathtaking exhibition of unanimity, rhythmic projection and keyboard colour â€¦ Marvellously exhilarating performances by Ashkenazy and Gavrilov, whose virtuosity is matched by a sense of spontaneity and delight in their music-making." Penguin Guide (Stravinsky)
"Cards on the table, Gavrilov's reading of the first movement of the Seventh Sonata is one of the finest I've heard â€¦ finely controlled playing and subtle nodal-pointing." Gramophone, June 1992 (Prokofiev: Sonatas)
"I can hardly imagine finer realizations of this music ... The sonata is elegance itself, the Scherzo Ã la russe is a delight, and Le Sacre is an absolute knockout." Stereo Review, August 1994
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt; LSO; Alfred Brendel
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt; VPO; LSO; Sutherland; Backhaus
Heinz Rehfuss; Hans Willi HÃ¤usslein; Frank Martin
Richard Bonynge; Lorin Maazel; Various Orchestras
Severin von Eckardstein