The Unreleased Recitals at The Concertgebouw 1975 - 1976 - 1978 - 1979 - 1980
Robert Schumann - Ludwig van Beethoven - Franz Liszt - Maurice Ravel - Johannes Brahms - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Johann Sebastian Bach - Alexander Scriabin - Frédéric Chopin - Sergei Prokofiev

The Unreleased Recitals at The Concertgebouw 1975 - 1976 - 1978 - 1979 - 1980

Emil Gilels

Label: Fondamenta
Format: CD
Barcode: 0190758348827
Catalog number: FON 1803032
Releasedate: 04-05-18
- previously unreleased recordings
- recorded live at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
- considered one of the most important pianists of the twentieth century

« In June 2017, I was due to perform in Moscow when I met Kirill Gilels, the grandson of the famous pianist Emil Gilels. He listened to what our Phoenix Mastering restoration process, based partly on Devialet technologies, can achieve, and made the decision to entrust us with the results of several years of research: he gave us a list of dates and places of the previously unreleased recordings of his grandfather.

In Berlin, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, we came across a treasure trove, stunning in terms of both the quality and consistency of Emil Gilels’s playing. We were fully aware that he was one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. 

It was in Amsterdam where at last, thanks to the unstinting efforts of Piet Tullenaar, we succeeded in extracting five recordings of performances Gilels had given between 1975 and 1980 at the Concertgebouw – recordings that had fallen into oblivion.

We were allotted a studio where we listened to the tapes one by one. Sitting there were Piet Tullenaar, Michel Navarra and myself. We did not utter a word, so overcome were we by the beauty of what we heard. (F. D’Oria-Nicolas) »

=Here is, in a few words, the feverish atmosphere that surrounded the genesis of this totally new box set dedicated to Emil Gilels (1916 - 1985). Considered one of the most important pianists of the twentieth century, he was a pupil of H. Neuhaus. He wins the current Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and takes on an international stature. In 1955, he was the first artist to be welcomed in the United States since the war : if the public, somewhat circumspect of Carnegie Hall, in New York, accompanies his entry on stage of a troubled silence, it is under a thunder of uninterrupted applause that he will refuse to leave the stage!

His record work is important (more than 55 ref are still available), so finding unreleased recordings is an event.

Gilels was particularly fond of Holland, and gave the best in these recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. It is in his favorite repertoire - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Prokofiev, Schumann, etc - that we find this legendary pianist, in this box of recordings from 1975 to 1980.

Emil Gilels was born on October 19, 1916 in Odessa. His parents were not musicians, but their modest flat in the poor area of the well-known Moldavanka neighbourhood housed a piano. Times were difficult, yet particular attention was given to musically gifted children. At the early age of two, Emil tried out the keys of the instrument at home, listening carefully to the sounds it produced.

It soon became obvious that the boy had perfect pitch; it extended to notes that were not necessarily made by instruments. When he was five years old, he was taken to Yakov Tkach, a famous piano teacher in Odessa.

The young boy completed the first stage of his studies with exceptional facility. There was no need to position his hands, so naturally did they move over the keyboard. His extraordinary ear and memory enabled him to absorb all the rudiments of music and of its grammar with great speed, and after only a few months he was playing sonatinas by Clementi and Mozart. By the age of eleven, he had mastered etudes by Chopin and Liszt. He was also strongly drawn to the theatre, began composing a little and loved to imagine himself as a conductor.