Emil Gilels THE SEATTLE RECITAL Beethoven - Chopin - Debussy - Prokofiev
. . . a colossal recital . . . [Beethoven]: the opening 1803 "Waldstein Sonata" reveals a virtuoso pianist in smart music. The Gilels sonority in "ostinato" energy, runs, and trills penetrates deeply, and his capacity for liquid velocity seems limitless . . . [Chopin / Variations on "Là ci darem" from Mozart's "Don Giovanni"]: We might concur with Robert Schumann, who, in speaking of Chopin, proclaimed, "Hats off, gentlemen, a Genius!" and so say of Emil Gilels . . . [Prokofiev]: From the 1915-17 group of "Visions fugitives" Gilels proffers six, each vignette in color and dynamics, close to the terse spirit of Scriabin. Nos 1, 3, and 5 each sparkle with an ethereal impressionism. The accented dissonances of No. 11 always attract Gilels, who favors this study in contrary-motion scale patterns. No. 10 provides a jumpy etude marked "Ridicolosamente". The last, "Poetico", conveys an elusive veil of notes. Quite a transition in color and dynamics as we enter Debussy's rarified world, liquefied and sensuous in "Reflets dans l'eau" . . . [in the Siloti arrangement of Bach's b minor Prelude, the] lovely gradations of color and inflection add that sense of eternity of which the great pianists own the patent.