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Beethoven: Sonatas, Waldstein, Les Adieux & Appassionata [Import]

Ludwig van Beethoven , Emil Gilels Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Performer: Emil Gilels
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (7 Oct 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Gramm (Ims)
  • ASIN: B000001G79
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 In C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 1. Allegro con brio11:06£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 In C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 2. Introduzione (Adagio molto) 4:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - 3. Rondo (Allegretto moderato) 7:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, Op.53 -"Waldstein" - - Prestissimo 1:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 1. Das Lebewohl (Adagio - Allegro) 7:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 2. Abwesenheit (Andante espressivo) 4:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat, Op.81a -"Les adieux" - 3. Das Wiedersehn (Vivacissimamente) 5:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 In F Minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 1. Allegro assai11:12£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 In F Minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 2. Andante con moto 6:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.23 In F Minor, Op.57 -"Appassionata" - 3. Allegro ma non troppo 7:53£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing with the Devil 11 Oct 2014
Format:Audio CD
DG has yet to reissue this CD in the remastered format that is offered in the box set but it does not matter: the sound from 1972 is excellent. Moreover Gilels' supremacy in the earlier sonatas is open to debate. His Pastoral, for instance, sounds laboured. It might be an idea to collect the individual CDs judiciously. Other than this disc in question, the imperatives are Opus 101 and the Hammerklavier.

Gilels' Les Adieux is a masterly performance; little needs to be said. Over time, I have grown less fond of this Appassionata and in particular, its finale: its technical excellence notwithstanding, it's not quite the Mephisto Waltz that is the Richter version from 1960 Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23,Op.57 ~ Richter. Gieseking in his devilish May 1939 performance is also more attuned to the voices from the Underworld Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor" / Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Apassionata" (Studio Recording, May 1939). (BTW, I urge you to track this disc down - it's astounding. Gieseking must have been playing with his fingers and toes on the day - how else does one explain such a torrent?)

I adore Gilels' Waldstein. It is becalmed with majesty. The Messianic eruption at 6'24" in the finale is reason in itself to acquire this disc. I have listened in vain to the Pollini, Horowitz et alia to come anywhere close to this stupendous occurence: they all fall short.

All in all, great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This disc, recorded between 1972-4, achieved close to rave reviews when it first appeared and has continued to draw similar responses from collectors ever since. This disc has been in my collection for over 30 years and still holds its own.

Gilels delivers very powerful performances of these three sonatas where the power is enhanced by the implication that there is more in reserve if needed.

His technique is absolutely on top of these works which he delivers with tremendous control both rhythmically and dynamically. The speeds of the finales, while up -tempo, always sound as if more is in reserve so the combination of technical accuracy, dynamic and rhythmic control all delivered at speed creates the impression of almost unlimited reserves and therefore of almost unlimited power. This also must include intellectual control over the whole structure as it develops of course.

I heard this disc just shortly after listening to Richter's Brahms 2 and Beethoven's sonata 23. The differences are instructive. Both pianists have fabulous technique but whereas Gilels keeps firm control in the ways described above, Richter goes for broke all the way. His speeds are faster, his dynamic range is clearly at the limits of the piano and everything is at full stretch. This is undeniably exciting playing but I ended my review by commenting that, great though the performance undoubtedly is, it would not be a good idea to describe it as definitive - more as an alternative. The performance by Gilels, because of the controls he exerts, provides the deeper experience and is more likely to earn the description as definitive. However, there are far too many fine performances of different types available for any one performance, even these, to be described as definitive.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A desert island recording 5 April 2008
Format:Audio CD
This is a sensational disc. The Waldstein and Les Adieux are exceptional, the Appassionata beyond belief. The coda played by Gilels may be my favourite minute of music.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favourite 4 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this after hearing a Josef Hoffmann recording on Radio 3. As I couldn't afford that version, I got this. I wasn't disappointed. I play it often and have put it on my mp3 player so I can listen in the car.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense Gilels 16 Nov 2002
By Norman Duffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When this recording of the Appassionata was first released in 1974, it was greeted with almost unanimous acclaim. It was a revelation to me personally because it was the first time that I actually realised how the piano could be played. With the Waldstein, the Appassionata is one the towering works of Beethoven's middle period.
The Les Adieux is either the final or next to final sonata of that period, depending on whether or not you think of the next after the Les Adieux, no. 27 Opus 90, as the first of the final "late" period of the composer's Piano Sonatas.
All of the three are difficult to play with some passages in the Waldstein being next to impossible on a modern piano. Suffice it to say that Gilels' playing is superb, almost beyond belief at times. Witness the final coda of the Appassionata, those fortissimo chords followed by the very rapid chords are miraculously played.
However, I can imagine that some might find the sheer sense of control, and particularly rhythmic control, and discipline that Gilels brings less attractive than the more frenetic Richter, Serkin or any number of more volatile readings.
With Gilels we are more in the realms of viewing these great compositions from an architectural point of view, so sound is his sense of structure. There is a tremendous sense of security and even predicatability here. For me, that is intensely satisfying and makes the impact of the music something that goes way beyond the pianistic achievement.
It is, of course, a terrible pity that Gilels died before finishing the whole series. He had recorded most of the sonatas and the outstanding ommission is the very last one, opus 111. That's bad enough, but when I read in Richter's notes that Gilels, with whom he had a longstanding and very difficult relationship, died as a result of a medical mishap in Moscow, the pity turns to a tragedy. Gilels was due to complete the series within a few months of his death in time for his 70th birthday in October 1986 - he died in October 1985. My question is - is this true?
Nonetheless, whatever one's preference is in terms of an approach to Beethoven's piano works, give this disc a shot. I think it is a classic.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recording not to be without for any serious collector. 25 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording represents a pillar in the classical music world. The performances of these all-time classic sonatas of Beethoven are interpreted with technical mastery, grand sound, and magnificent sensitivity. Gilels, as always, shares with us a most intimate portrait of Beethoven. This is definitely an authoritative reading and recording.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Beethoven from Gilels 24 Sep 2003
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a very finely played CD of these 3 great sonatas by Beethoven. Gilels uses a great deal of color throughout the works. The playing on this CD of my favorite recordings of these pieces. The Appassionata has many other rival recordings, but I believe the Waldstein and the Les Adieux stand alone. Overall a great recording!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant tour de force 9 Feb 2009
By P. Xiao - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was not able to get this CD right away when I first looked for it years ago. So I bought Gilels's entire Beethoven set (not quite the complete piano sonata cycle and of uneven quality) specifically for these performances and that of his Hammerklavier. Gilels attacked these challenging pieces with Herculean strength and the pure nobility is arresting. First the structure - he fully grasps Beethoven's architectural vision and paints the breathtaking landscape with supreme confidence. That is, of course, upon your initial listening. On the 100th critical review, the listener will be hard pressed to fail to discover more of the boundless wisdom that Beethoven generously dispensed through these Olympian musical notes as brought to life by the fearless Gilels. I can apply endless superlatives from profound poetry to exquisite technique to try to describe this recording. But each time I walk away from this recording, the overwhelming sensation quite simply translates into a smile on my face - a smile at how Gilels plays the concert grand like a child's instrument being tossed in his massive hands. And I feel utterly exhilarated. Now, that is the essence of Beethoven, my friends. For you audiophiles out there, the sound quality of this 70's recording is superb.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous 4 May 2007
By Jason Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a wondrous CD. In particular, Gilels's recording of the Appassionata is my unquestionable, absolute favorite of all those I have heard (on the order of 10).
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