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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Grieg: Lyric Pieces  (DG The Originals)
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on 24 November 2009
Gilels' wonderfully delicate and poetic performance of Grieg's Lyric Pieces matches Richter's late live recordings (Live Classics & Stradivarious) for the subtlety of tonal shading and the depth of interpretation. When I feel stressed, I play this CD and let the music speak its poetry in a most intimate way. Listening to this recording, you can believe music has healing power. What a shame Gilels recorded only 20 out of the 66 pieces!
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on 14 November 2014
Wonderful rendition of Greig with lots of sensitivity and charm
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 February 2012
The excellent booklet notes for this original 1974 edition of selections from the Norwegian`s deceptively straightforward, limpidly lovely series of piano miniatures open with the words of Odessa-born pianist Emil Gilels (1916-85): "In Russia only teachers and children knew Grieg`s Lyric Pieces" and we are told that he only discovered them relatively late in his life. Imagine that. You are a world-famous pianist of the highest calibre, yet these delightful piano meditations come into your life not as a child (when you could, perhaps should, be practising them) but as a seasoned adult. One can only imagine his delight at such a discovery.
So what are they like, what is their charm? To quote from the notes again, Gilels believed that, in his phrase, they `opened up a world of great intimacy of feeling` with `an inwardness of lyrical expression and maturity of composition`. I could not have put it better myself, which is why I have used the pianist`s words.
I have found that my devotion to these pieces - and this specific DG recording, with its original so very complementary cover painting - has grown with each renewal of their acquaintance. It is morning as I type this, after a fitful night; Gilels and Grieg are soothing away the fustiness of the night with aural balm. Played late in the evening they sound pretty good too...
Some have titles such as Butterfly, Album-leaf or Solitary Traveller, others are content to be called simply Notturno or Scherzo. All are captivating.
Gilels was possessed of the most light, crystalline of touches on his instrument (try him with Mozart or Brahms) and I can`t think of a pianist who could have done such justice to Grieg`s modest yet inspired poetry.
Beyond praise.
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on 18 August 2009
Probably one of the finest recordings of Lyric Pieces is Richter's live recording, released on 2CD by Stradivarius (sadly out of print now), but Gilels' DG recording well matches Richter's for its depth of poetry and tonal delicacy. Like Richter, Emil Gilels' playing is self-effacing and he just lets the music quietly speak for itself, while technically it's immaculately fluid and at the same time focussed. For anyone who can appreciate the art of piano playing, this is a real treat and a must-have CD. It's a shame that Gilels recorded only selections of the suites.
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on 20 December 2015
My music teacher used to tell me, "To merely play fast is not actual art, playing slowly and well at the same time is what makes a true artist." It is certainly true for Emil Gilels and his interpretation of favorite Lyric Pieces by Norwegian composer E. H. Grieg. Indeed, some of the pieces are not difficult per se - some we can even call very slow - and can be played by student of an elementary musical school. But that's not the point.

Why so great a pianist as Martha Argerich often returns back to Schumann's Kinderszenen, some of which are really not that difficult to play? It's similar here. Gilels feels the music with deep understanding, conveys the ideas behind the title of each piece originally and faithfully, so that you have no problem whatsoever to embrace what you hear. Especially commendable is the pianist's work with dynamics. Pianos are very soft and fortes resonant. The album is a proof for any music student that it pays off to play the piano. And once they master any of the pieces included here, they can compare themselves with the great maestro, Emil Gilels.

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on 19 August 2011
Surely one of the most beautiful piano recordings ever made: balm, celebration and reverie.

Along with the Michelangeli Ravel in G and the Gould Goldbergs, one of the things that persuades we may yet have a future as a species.
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on 17 August 2001
What can I really say about this CD. It is without a doubt some of the best music ever written for the piano. Some of the pieces included here seem to be from another world. Or perhaps listening to them takes you to another world. How can such beauty be real -- just listen to the 'Melodie' or the 'Notturno'.
When I listen to this CD I fall in love with life. I realise that a tree is not just a tree, and that life is an incredible gift. Do I need to say more?
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on 3 June 2015
One of the best selections of the lyric pieces I've heard if you don't want the complete sets, beautifully and sensitively played by Emil Gilels. However with Stephen Hough now entering with his selection the only answer is to have them both!
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on 21 September 2015
Lovely playing, lovely music. The recording is a little soft-focus but this largely suits the nature of the pieces played. I'm not convinced it's the immortal classic it's hyped up to be but it's still well worth hearing.
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on 4 April 2009
I have listened to Gilels' performances, he is really virtuosic performer, with like steel fingers, and I have thought he is not good at small and nice piece but I was completely wrong. In this recording, he played Grieg pieces so elegantly, so beautifully. I was so impressed, this recording opened my eyes. In addition, he made me find Grieg Lyric pieces were much more beautiful and worth playing/listening than I had thought.

Must-buy recording.
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