Best Recordings: Gilels, Golovanov, Tchaikovsky
No fuss and no sentimentality in this incredible recording of two giants performing the genius that is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The recording of P. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 that I am writing about is with the great Emil Gilels at the piano and my favorite conductor Nikolai Golovanov. The straightforwardness, energy, and love for this music is definitely unrivaled in my personal opinion.
Being the definitive recording of this wonderful concerto, you do not hear any unnecessary slow downs that are done by most pianists and orchestras. In the score, everything is written out. This is why I am always bemused by the fact how most “professional” musicians botch Tchaikovsky’s music. The music has to speak on its own and the musician is the vessel for this music to be translated to the audience.
From the beginning, you can hear the dignity and nobleness of this composition. No fake pianism is displayed by Mr. Gilels, who just moves forward like a person knowledgeable of things to come in life. His technique is as always incredible and the lyrical sections are done with such deepness in spirit.
Emil Gilels’ message is always clear and together with Nikolai Golovanov, their interpretation is completely organized by long thought and poise. Mr. Golovanov sweeps the orchestra with straightforward intent and strength. The orchestra truly knows the depth of this music in the beautiful moments of softness. I highly recommend this incredible recording of strength and beauty all in one.