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The Great Arthur Rubinstein Revisited

For decades people who were fortunate enough to see and hear esteemed pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) perform left concert halls spellbound. Biographer and music historian Sachs first heard Rubinstein play in 1959, but it was not until 1986 that he seriously considered writing a biography of Rubinstein. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Emil Gilels - How Great Exactly?  (Read 1572 times)
zhiliang
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« on: February 10, 2004, 04:27:50 AM »

The story had it that when Arthur Rubinstein had been invited to the Odessa Conservatory in 1930 to hear 1 15 year old boy play the piano, he reacted with, "By God, there was a boy - short, with a mass of red hair and freckles - who played, I cant describe it. All i can say is that if he comes to America, I might as well pack my bags and go!" The boy is none other than Emil Gilels.

Some questions here -

1. How is his playing style like?
2. Which recordings of his will one recommend greatly and why?
3. How can we compare his playing to Richter's one?
4. Has Heinrich Neuhaus played a great influence on his playing though his claims no?

Regards,

Zhiliang
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-- arthur rubinstein --
rohansahai
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2004, 03:30:55 PM »

None can answer that better than me! My teacher was a student of a student of Gilels. Well, if you want a pianist whose magnificent technique is not even noticeable in front of his beautiful, graceful, elegant playing, it is no other than Gilels! He was one of the only pianists who did not show off his technique even though he had a magnificent one! However, when required, he too made the piano roar like a lion. I have never heard anyone playing with so much drama as Gilels and I'm really proud that I'm learning HIS school of playing. Personally, for me Richter stands nowhere in front of him. Also, I don't quite give the credit to his playing to Heinrich Neuhaus as Neuhaus himself admitted that he was partial towards Richter (in his book, The Art of Piano playing).
                Comparing him with Richter, I think Richter is way too digital and boasts of his technique. If you are impressed by technique maybe you'd like Richter more, but the beauty of Gilels's playing has so far never been surpassed!            
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Waste of time -- do not read signatures.
thracozaag
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 05:13:33 PM »

Quote
The story had it that when Arthur Rubinstein had been invited to the Odessa Conservatory in 1930 to hear 1 15 year old boy play the piano, he reacted with, "By God, there was a boy - short, with a mass of red hair and freckles - who played, I cant describe it. All i can say is that if he comes to America, I might as well pack my bags and go!" The boy is none other than Emil Gilels.

Some questions here -

1. How is his playing style like?
2. Which recordings of his will one recommend greatly and why?
3. How can we compare his playing to Richter's one?
4. Has Heinrich Neuhaus played a great influence on his playing though his claims no?

Regards,

Zhiliang


 1.  His playing is of the grand Russian manner.  Huge, golden tone, wonderful articulation, always searching for the big line--in other words, playing in the grand manner, coupled with a keen mind.
 2.  Above all, listen to his Brahms 2nd concerto with Reiner (NOT WITH JOCHUM).  Other recommended recordings would be his Liszt Spanish Rhapsody, Prokofiev 3rd concerto, Chopin 3rd sonata, Chopin 1st Concerto, Scriabin 3rd sonata, Prokofiev 8th sonata, many of his Beethoven performances (although I'm not terribly fond of the concertos with Szell), Rach 3rd, Saint-Saens 2nd...in other words a LOT of stuff to sift through.
 3.  I'm always curious as to the Gilels/Richter debate.  For me, Gilels is the far more interesting pianist, Richter is much straighter, although, it seems everyone has been brainwashed into thinking that the opposite is the truth.  I also prefer Gilels sound far more than Richter's.
 4.  I think Nehaus was instrumental in developing Gilels's sound.  Nehuas was also a profound thinker, something that would permeate Gilels later in life.
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"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

Askenaz7
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2004, 10:51:06 PM »

Yeah Emil Gilels is one of my favorite pianists  Cool
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