Friday, June 29, 2018

Felix Mendelssohn and Emil Gilels - a Change of Mind Like No Other I Know in the History of Recordings...

One of  the Mendelssohn  Songs Without Words, titled "Duetto," is among my favorites of the piano music of Mendelssohn. The theme is, for me, one of the most ravishing creations carved into existence by this composer, supported by the magic of Mendelsson's unmatched view of harmonic simplism and clarity of direction as a combine. The story of a soprano voice, answered by its own echo in the tenor region, is a story redolent with absolute beauty for an instrument that becomes the medium for a superb example of true, unvarnished Dialogue. I think that it ranks among the supreme examples of what Mendelssohn could do with a few notes.
Now there is a performance by one of  the  preeminent  Russian musicians, who happened to choose the piano in order to prove his  points - the name is Emil Gilels. As a young man the better part of a century ago, Gilels made a recording  of the Duetto, and it is a clear example of the promise of the  greatness that Gilels , through the years, has given us. It is a great reading of the music at an early age.
He made another recording of the Duetto over a generation later, toward the end of his career, that  is a revelation in the world of Interpretation, which in a recent blog I said was, perhaps, another word for Opinion. The transmutation is enormous -  listen to these two recordings, and ask yourself  if you have ever heard such a change of opinion by the same musician playing the same music.
The change in tempo will be the catalyst through which the meaning of the thematic significance is totally altered , and the story line becomes totally different.
For me, what remains a kind of mystery, is that I have come to embrace the two totally divergent
views by Gilels. What do you think?
On YouTube, key in:
1. Young Gilels plays Mendelsson Lied Ohne Worte
2.Gilels plays Mendelsson (vaimusic.com)
  

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