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Icon: Emil Gilels [Box set]

Emil Gilels Audio CD
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Aug 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B003D0ZNXS
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,637 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto No.1 In C Op.15 (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro Con BrioEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell14:27Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No.1 In C Op.15 (1996 Digital Remaster): II. LargoEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell12:29Album Only
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No.1 In C Op.15 (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro Scherzando) [Cadenzas By Beethoven]Emil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 8:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 In B Flat Op. 19 (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro ModeratoEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell14:17Album Only
Listen  5. Piano Concerto No. 2 In B Flat Op. 19 (1996 Digital Remaster): II. AdagioEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 9:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Concerto No. 2 In B Flat Op. 19 (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Molto Allegro)Emil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 6:26£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto No.3 In C Minor Op.37 (1996 Digital Remaster): Allegro Con BrioEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell16:39Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No.3 In C Minor Op.37 (1996 Digital Remaster): LargoEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell10:25Album Only
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No.3 In C Minor Op.37 (1996 Digital Remaster): Rondo (Allegro - Presto)Emil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 8:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 4 In G Op. 58 (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro ModeratoEmil Gilels/George Szell18:51Album Only
Listen  5. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 4 In G Op. 58 (1996 Digital Remaster): II. Andante Con MotoEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 5:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 4 In G Op. 58 (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Vivace)Emil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell10:00£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (1996 Digital Remaster): AllegroEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell20:16Album Only
Listen  2. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (1996 Digital Remaster): Adagio Un Poco MossoEmil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell 8:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (1996 Digital Remaster): Rondo (Allegro)Emil Gilels/Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell10:36Album Only
Listen  4. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Thema. Allegretto -Emil Gilels0:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations I - IIIEmil Gilels0:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations IV & VEmil Gilels0:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VIEmil Gilels0:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VII & VIIIEmil Gilels0:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations IX - XIEmil Gilels0:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme WoO80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation XIIEmil Gilels0:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XIII & XIVEmil Gilels0:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XV - XVIIIEmil Gilels 1:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XIX - XXIIEmil Gilels0:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XXIII - XXVEmil Gilels0:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XXVI & XXVIIEmil Gilels0:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XXVIIIEmil Gilels0:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XXIX & XXXEmil Gilels0:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. 32 Variations In C Minor On An Original Theme Woo80 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variations XXXI & XXXIIEmil Gilels 2:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Thema. Allegretto -Emil Gilels0:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation IEmil Gilels0:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation II -Emil Gilels0:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation III -Emil Gilels 1:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation IV -Emil Gilels0:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation V -Emil Gilels 1:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VI -Emil Gilels0:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VII -Emil Gilels0:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' Woo71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VIII -Emil Gilels0:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen28. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation IX -Emil Gilels0:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen29. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation X -Emil Gilels0:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen30. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation XI -Emil Gilels0:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen31. 12 Variations (In A) On A Russian Dance From Paul Wranitzky's Ballet 'Das Waldmädchen' WoO71 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation XIIEmil Gilels 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen32. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March From 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Thema. Allegro Risoluto -Emil Gilels0:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen33. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March from 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation IEmil Gilels0:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen34. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March From 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation II -Emil Gilels0:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen35. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March from 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation III -Emil Gilels 1:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen36. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March From 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation IV -Emil Gilels0:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen37. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March From 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation V -Emil Gilels0:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen38. 6 Variations (In D) On A Turkish March From 'Die Ruinen Von Athen' Op. 76 (1996 Digital Remaster): Variation VI, Presto - Tempo IEmil Gilels 2:00£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Op. 58 (2005 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro ModeratoEmil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig17:58Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Op. 58 (2005 Digital Remaster): II. Andante Con MotoEmil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig 5:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Op. 58 (2005 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Vivace)Emil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig 9:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2005 Digital Remaster): AllegroEmil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig19:41Album Only
Listen  5. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2005 Digital Remaster): Adagio Un Poco MossoEmil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig 9:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 5, 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2005 Digital Remaster): Rondo (Allegro)Emil Gilels/Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig10:20Album Only


Disc 5:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto Pour Piano N°1 En Ut Majeur Op.15 : I Allegro Con Brio (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot14:24Album Only
Listen  2. Concerto Pour Piano N°1 En Ut Majeur Op.15 : II Largo (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot12:16Album Only
Listen  3. Concerto Pour Piano N°1 En Ut Majeur Op.15 : III Rondo (Allegro Scherzando) (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot 8:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto Pour Piano N°2 En Si Bémol Majeur Op.19 : I Allegro Con Brio (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot14:39Album Only
Listen  5. Concerto Pour Piano N°2 En Si Bémol Majeur Op.19 : II Adagio (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot 9:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto Pour Piano N°2 En Si Bémol Majeur Op.19 : III Rondo (Molto Allegro) (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire - André Vandernoot 6:10£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 6:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra N°3 In C Minor Op.37 : I Allegro Con Brio (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - André Cluytens - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire16:25Album Only
Listen  2. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra N°3 In C Minor Op.37 : II Largo (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - André Cluytens - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire10:05Album Only
Listen  3. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra N°3 In C Minor Op.37 : III Rondo : Allegro - Presto (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels - André Cluytens - Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire 8:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Piano Sonata No.16 In B Flat K.570 : I Allegro (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels 5:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Piano Sonata No.16 In B Flat K.570 : II Adagio (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels 9:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Sonata No.16 In B Flat K.570 : III Allegretto (Remasterisé En 1995)Emil Gilels 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 7:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor Op. 30 (2006 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro Ma Non TantoEmil Gilels/André Cluytens/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire15:07Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor Op. 30 (2006 Digital Remaster): II. Intermezzo (Adagio)Emil Gilels/André Cluytens/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire10:02Album Only
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor Op. 30 (2006 Digital Remaster): III. Finale (Alla Breve)Emil Gilels/André Cluytens/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire13:16Album Only
Listen  4. Piano Concerto No. 2 In G Minor Op. 22 (2006 Digital Remaster): I. Andante SostenutoEmil Gilels/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire/André Cluytens11:16Album Only
Listen  5. Piano Concerto No. 2 In G Minor Op. 22 (2006 Digital Remaster): II. Allegro ScherzandoEmil Gilels/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire/André Cluytens 5:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Concerto No. 2 In G Minor Op. 22 (2006 Digital Remaster): III. PrestoEmil Gilels/Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire/André Cluytens 6:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (2006 Digital Remaster), No. 5 In D Major: Prelude (Allegretto)Emil Gilels 1:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (2006 Digital Remaster), No. 5 In D Major: Fugue (Allegretto)Emil Gilels 1:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (2006 Digital Remaster), No. 24 In D Minor: Prelude (Andante)Emil Gilels 4:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (2006 Digital Remaster), No. 24 In D Minor: Fugue (Moderato)Emil Gilels 6:35£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 8:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 1 Op. 23 (1995 Digital Remaster): Allegro Non Troppo E Molto MaestosoEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel20:05Album Only
Listen  2. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 1 Op. 23 (1995 Digital Remaster): Andantino SempliceEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel 7:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 1 Op. 23 (1995 Digital Remaster): Allegro Con FuocoEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel 6:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 2 Op. 44 (Edited Siloti) (1995 Digital Remaster): Allegro BrillanteEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel20:18Album Only
Listen  5. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 2 Op. 44 (Edited Siloti) (1995 Digital Remaster): Andante Non TroppoEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel 7:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 2 Op. 44 (Edited Siloti) (1995 Digital Remaster): Allegro Con FuocoEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel 8:02£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 9:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 3 In E Flat Op. 75 (1995 Digital Remaster): Allegro Brillante - Cadenza - Tempo I - VivacissimoEmil Gilels/New Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel18:04Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 35 (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Grave - Doppio Movimento (Allegro)Emil Gilels 5:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 35 (1996 Digital Remaster): II. ScherzoEmil Gilels 6:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 35 (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Marche Funèbre (Lento)Emil Gilels 9:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 35 (1996 Digital Remaster): IV. Finale (Presto)Emil Gilels 1:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (1996 Digital Remaster), No. 1 In C: Prelude (Moderato)Emil Gilels 2:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Twenty-Four Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 (1996 Digital Remaster), No. 1 In C: Fugue (Moderato)Emil Gilels 5:04£0.99  Buy MP3 


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost all he recorded for EMI 17 Feb 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This Icon Box, which is excellent value for money, claims, not quite correctly, to contain all the recordings the great Russian pianist made for EMI. [For example, the 1966 London Schumann Nachtstucke, once on ASD 2483, is missing - apparently the rights belong to Melodya, which probably explains the absence.] All the items here were recorded between 1954 and 1972; in Paris, London, Cleveland and New York.

The repertoire here is somewhat limited, insofar as we have two complete cycles of the Beethoven concertos - the earlier made in Europe with different conductors between 1954 [No.3 in mono] and 1957 [4&5 in stereo]; and the latter in Cleveland with Szell in 1968. [Frankly, I greatly prefer the versions Szell recorded earlier with Leon Fleischer; because here soloist and conductor often fail - as in the Emperor's first movement - to find a convincing, unified view about tempo, leading to an episodic approach to a work which requires singleness of vision.] In addition there are three short sets of Beethoven variations, but no sonatas. There are the three Tchaikovsky concertos from 1972, and earlier [mono] versions of Rachmaninoff 3 and Saint-Saens 2. Solo works include a Mozart sonata, K570; Chopin's Funeral March sonata, and three of the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 [1,5&24].

There is much to admire here: for me, the highlights are the earlier Beethoven 4 and 5, with Leopold Ludwig; the Saint-Saens, and the Shostakovich - truly stunning playing. The Rachmaninoff concerto gets a fairly laid-back performance, rather introverted, but with beautiful, lapidary pianism. This is a performance quite unlike, for example, the better known and more highly-charged versions from Horowitz and Argerich.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music Making! 16 Mar 2011
By J. Gibbons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Emil Gilels was one of the pianistic giants of the last century and this fine, and economical, boxed set of his EMI recordings is very welcome indeed.

Of the two sets of Beethoven piano included, that recorded as a cycle in Cleveland with George Szell is the finest. At the time of its first issue it was overshadowed by that of Barenboim and Klemperer which meant it didn't get its fair share of publicity. It is certainly one of the very finest complete cycles available. Gilels' playing combines great musical insight, technical virtuosity and wonderful lyricism. Szell and his fine Cleveland Orchestra accompany superbly. They form a wonderful partnership and it is sad they recorded so little together. Some little heard Beetoven variations, recorded during the same sessions, make a splendid filler.

The second set of Beethoven concertos - with a number of conductors and orchestras - is also very fine. Here the filler is a splendid performance of Mozart's piano sonata K570.

Some collectors may be put off by this duplication of repetoire but all the Beethoven concerto performances are of such high quality that their inclusion here is greatly to be welcomed.

The remaining three discs include all three of the Tchaikovky concertos in highly recommendable performances. Maazel and the New Philharmonia are fine partners. Also incuded are Rachmaninov's third concerto and Saint-Saens' second, three Shostakovich preludes and fugues, and an absolutely staggering performance of the Chopin 'funeral march' sonata.

The booklet contains an excellent essay on Gilels, and these particular performances, by Richard Osborne. The remastering is excellent and the set as a whole can be recommended without reservation.
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15 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set!!! 29 Sep 2010
By B.G.
Format:Audio CD
Excellent set!!! Only the recording of Gilels plays Beethoven piano concerto # 5 (the "Emperor") with the Cleveland Orchestra under the conduction of George Szell itself, worth the price of the whole set. Recommended!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is [almost] the lot from EMI! 17 Feb 2011
By D. M. Ohara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This Icon Box, which is excellent value for money [at lest in the UK - in the USA it may be more expensive] claims to contain all the recordings the great Russian pianist made for EMI. That seems not quite true, as he recorded Schumann's Nachtstucke for EMI in London in the late 60s, and they are missing for the set; probably because the rights belong to the Russian label, Melodya.
All items were recorded between 1954 and 1972; in Paris, London, Cleveland and New York.

The repertoire here is somewhat limited, insofar as we have two complete cycles of the Beethoven concertos - the earlier made in Europe with different conductors between 1954 [No.3 in mono] and 1957 [4&5 in stereo]; and the latter in Cleveland with Szell in 1968. [Frankly, I greatly prefer Szell's earlier set with Leon Fleischer.] In addition there are three short sets of Beethoven variations, but no sonatas. There are the three Tchaikovsky concertos from 1972, and earlier [mono] versions of Rachmaninoff 3 and Saint-Saens 2. Solo works include a Mozart sonata, K570; Chopin's Funeral March sonata, and three of the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 [1,5&24]. There is much to admire here: for me, the highlights are the earlier Beethoven 4, with Leopold Ludwig, the Saint-Saens, and the Shostakovich - truly stunning playing.

But this set leaves out [because recorded for other companies] many of the works for which Gilels is best known. There is no Scarlatti, Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Grieg, Brahms or Liszt here; no chamber music, no Beethoven sonatas. For those one must go to his later recordings for DGG, and the small but excellent CBS and RCA legacy. Gilels also left many live performances; from London, Moscow, Salzburg, Italy and elsewhere: and though these sometimes reveal a pianist who is not note-perfect, they often give a better, and more immediate picture of the great Lion of the Keyboard who will be familiar to those who heard him in the flesh.

So while it is good to have [almost] all his EMI tapings gathered together in a single bargain box, those interested in the pianist's wider repertoire will need to look elsewhere for works with which he is most closely associated; in particular the Brahms concertos and late solo works, the Beethoven sonatas, and his Schubert and Liszt sonatas and shorter works, including his incomparabe Grieg Lyric Pieces.

But this set is not to be missed at the price [around $20 from some sellers], notwithstanding the Beethoven concerto duplications.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An overstuffed box set with not enough outstanding performances 5 Jan 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
EMI's "Icon" series sometimes unearths some fairly rare or out-of-print recordings, while most of the time it is an exercise in repackaging, admittedly at a very good price. Unless you are a Gilels completist, however, I'd steer clear of this 9-CD box set. A good deal of room is taken by two complete Beethoven concerto cycles, the first in mixed mono and stereo with Andre Vandernoot and Leopold Ludwig (both routine), the second in stereo with Szell and the Clevelanders. both are unimaginative accounts, despite the pianist's undoubted power and authority, and the later cycle is particularly unfortunate in that Szell was in physical decline. I detected almost no change in Gilels' interpretations in the span between 1954 and 1970. Gilels also recorded the sets of solo Beethoven theme and variations in 1970, and these two are authoritative but heavy-handed. He overwhelms the Saint-Saens Cto. #2 in an impressive way but has not much to say in the Rachmaninov third.

And so it goes. I once thought that this pianist was fiery and interesting in his younger years but grew dull and conventional in maturity, and in general I still hold to that. by the time he died in 1985, a few days before turning 69, he was a revered artist, so my lack of enthusiasm is a minority report. Even so, I think DG got the best of late Gilels, not EMI. The best of all comes from reprint labels that issue his Russian recordings and live concerts, where he was at is best. In this box set I enjoyed some items: a sober but absorbing Mozart Sonata in B-flat K. 570, and a resounding Tchaikovsky Piano Cto. #2 in its old abridged form (which some may still prefer in this long-winded work). It and the infinitely more popular Tchaikovsky first are vigorously conducted by Lorin Maazel with the New Philharmonia Orch., but EMI has done nothing to improve their coarse recorded sound. the same goes for the unfinished and negligible Cto. #3.

the best that could have been gleaned from the vaults would have filled only four or five CDs, but they would have served Gilels the artist better than this motley overstuffed collection. True believers are free to disagree, of course.

Here are the complete contents:

Beethoven:
Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (complete)
32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO 80
12 Variations on a Russian Dance, WoO 71
6 Variations on an Original Theme 'Die Ruinen von Athen', Op. 76

Chopin:
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Mozart:
Piano Sonata No. 17 in B flat major, K570

Rachmaninov:
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Saint-Saëns:
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22

Shostakovich:
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 5 in D major
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 24 in D minor
Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 1 in C major

Tchaikovsky:
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44
(edited Siloti)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 75
2 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icon: Emil Gilels - Complete EMI Recordings: 1954-1972 13 Feb 2011
By BEAVER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
EMIL GILES -ONE OF THE GREATEST PIANIST OF ALL TIME. VERY REASONABLY PRICED AND SHOULD BE IN EVERY CLASSICAL PIANO ENTHUSIAST COLLECTION
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