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Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, January 2013

The characteristics of the performance [of Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto] are nobility and breadth. Interestingly Rossi encourages the section to essay one or two portamenti. A few pianistic smudges hardly detract from the powerful concentration generated, one that continues into the eloquently played slow movement and the vital, exciting finale. Internal balancing is good, with wind harmonies making their point, and the solo cello in the slow movement sounding well.

Debussy’s Book I of Images…is beautifully played.…this Rossi-conducted performance is…a worthwhile acquisition for Gilels admirers. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, October 2012

…I was…impressed by the qualities [Gilels] brought to his interpretation of Brahms, running the gamut from the fearlessly bold declarations of the first two movements to the introspectively intimate Andante. This breadth of expressiveness is also very much evident in the solo recital selections.

Thus, we have an approach to Debussy that focuses on being true to the title of the collection, particularly in the first (depicting reflections on a mobile surface of water) and the third, entitled simply “movement.” The middle piece, which honors the memory of Jean-Philippe Rameau, is more formal in nature; but Gilels still captures its impressionistic qualities. Opus 28 is a single-movement sonata in which a diversity of emotional attitudes go head-to-head against each other; and Gilels offers up a stirring account of the battle, reinforced by the clarity of his discipline…through Gilels’ execution, one readily recognizes Prokofiev’s strikingly individualistic rhetoric in these pieces.

There have been previous releases of Gilels Cologne Broadcasts on ICA. These have concentrated on his performances of Beethoven. This new release provides a valuable perspective on his approach to the “beyond Beethoven” repertoire. © 2012 Read complete review

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