Sunday, November 4, 2018

A Pianist Like No Other- A Journey Into a Place Like No Other...

I recently delved into two recordings by the great Russian pianist Emil Gilels,  done many years ago at the height of his powers. Of course I had heard these performances countless times over an extended period; however, I chose to hear both of these back-to-back this time around for one reason only: to look more deeply into the nature of the composer's pursuance and delivery of the projection of beauty as he shapes it into being. The composer is Rachmaninoff; the two pieces are the Prelude Opus 23, no. 10  and one of the composer's musical paintings titled  Daisies, opus 38.
I made sure that, before sitting down to listen to these two creations, I was clear of any form of distraction or interruption, including shutting off my cell phone.
I can relate to you  an experience that rarely visits me, especially in the world of  personal discovery and coruscation.
In the Prelude, I came to a realization that, for me, this is Rachmaninoff  at the height of his communicative powers, through his employment of melody, especially in dialogue by way of diagonal writing, but without overt canon use, resulting in a wondrous form  of loving  argumentation among  the melodic fragments - all this  transported   by an uninterrupted accompaniment. It was, for me, a finalized certification of where Rachmaninoff had taken the Golden Age of  19th century  piano music by way of Chopin in his Mazurkas and Grieg in his Lyric Pieces. Do remember that Rachmaninoff ends his journey 43 years into the 20th century.
And in his "Daisies" Rachmaninoff  projects a marvelously simplistic portrait of the delicate flower   with little more than a  handful of aural brush strokes.
What a magnificent example of the power spectrum of a great  composer - and in just two brief compositions.
And the magical playing of Gilels, who handles the conversational projections in the Prelude that defies description - I cannot imagine anyone exceeding this reading by the Russian.



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