This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
For Gavrilov, the legendary difficulties of these pieces don't seem to exist. Turbulence is projected with an exceptional amalgam of speed and strength, as in Op. 10 Nos. 4 and 12 in C sharp minor and C minor, and Op. 25 Nos. II and 12 in B minor and A minor. Though Pollini is every bit as brilliant in these explosions, he hasn't Gavriby's inner fire. Sometimes there's even a suspicion that Gavrilov is over-driven as if by some uncontrollable elemental force. But though an occasional note of fierceness in his urgency—as in the expansive might of Op. 10 No. I in C, with its bass sounding like deep organ pedals, and in the last of the 24 in C minor—may not be to everyone's taste, it's still the kind of playing of which legends are made. In
some of the charmers of the set, like the 'black key' and the arpeggiated op. 10 No. ii in E flat and Op. 25 No. 1 in A flat, and still more Op. 25 No. 6 in sharp minor with its liquid flow of thirds, he hasn't always the delicacy of Duchable, or Ashkenazy either (though he certainly surpasses both Ash kena.zy and Arrau in this respect in Op. 25 No. 8 in D flat). But never does he play for just the tune, or mere sleight-of-hand. I was constantly impressed by his savouring of underlying harmonic piquancy, hidden countermelody, cross-rhythm and the like, just as I was for his unerring feeling for the shape of each study as a whole.
Unpredictably, some of my keenest pleasure came from what I'll call the Eusebius in him rather than the Florestan. Op. 10 No. 3 in E major and Op. 25 No. 7 in C sharp minor are most beautifully sung and shaped, without the touches of over-obtrusive rubato just occasionally heard from Ashkenazy and Arrau. Arguably, Op. tO No. 6 in E flat minor is too slow for an Andante, But I prefer this to Arrau's fastish tempo, and again it's sustained with a line as eloquent as it is shapely. I would also single out the nostalgically lyrical middle sections of Op. 25 Nos. 5 and 10 in E minor and B minor, which, although faster than from some of his distinguished rivals, are just as heart-easing because of Gavrilov's simplicity (and, incidentally, it's in all these more introspective moods that Pollini most disappoints).
-- Gramophone [4/1988, reviewing the Etudes]
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