Emil Gilels was one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Three decades after his death, many of his recordings still represent the benchmark to which all others are compared.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2016 Deutsche Grammophon brings together for the first time all of its Gilels recordings in a 24CD box-set with original covers, including seven discs of rare Russian recordings that he made at the beginning of his career.
This fantastic compilation picks up the First period of his brilliant career as any other compilation never did it. Mercurial and epic pianism at its best. His Brahms - exultant and thundering - exceed his late readings with Jochum (less profound if you may, but much more expansive and less restrained). His reading about Shostakovich Sonata 2 is out of this world.
What remains consistent is Pierre Fournier's elegant and aristocratic playing, his superb control of the bow and his supple, consistently beautiful tone impressed a whole generation of cellists and music lovers all over the world. Sixty-five years since he first recorded for Decca, we are proud to celebrate the artistry of this most distinguished of cellists and the wealth of recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips – presented here together for the very first time in this 25-CD limited edition set.
Here, for the first time in a single box set, are the 48 CDs that make up Martha Argerich’s recording legacy from 1960 to 2014 with Deutsche Grammophon and Philips, including the four “Lugano Concertos” CDs and the Chopin CD of 1960s radio recordings.
30 years after his death, DG commemorates the quintessential Kapellmeister with a 42-CD set of Complete DG Orchestral Recordings presented in original jackets. In addition to the complete symphonic cycles of Bruckner (the first ever complete recorded cycle), Beethoven and Brahms, this set offers the entire Jochum orchestral recordings for DG for the first time. Several recordings appear on CD for the first time including recordings of Weber, Mozart and Beethoven.
Bessie Smith cut 160 sides for the Columbia and OKeh labels between 1923 and 1933, and the four previous two-CD/cassette box sets of her complete recordings released in the 1990s covered 154 of them, which introduces the question, what can a fifth two-CD/cassette box set contain in addition to the remaining six cuts? First, there are five previously unreleased alternate takes; second, there is the 15-minute low-fi soundtrack to the two-reel short St. Louis Blues, which constitutes the only film of Smith; and third, taking up all of the second CD/cassette, there are 72 minutes of interview tapes of Ruby Smith, Bessie Smith's niece, who traveled as part of her show. The box contains a "Parental Advisory – Explicit Lyrics" warning because of the nature of Ruby Smith's reminiscences. You won't learn much about Bessie Smith's music from her niece's remarks, but you will learn a lot about her sexual preferences.
What one feels about this 27-song CD will depend entirely upon one's tolerance for soft rock and bubblegum pop. Pickettywitch were huge in England for about two years, and remain one of the more fondly remembered pop/rock groups of their period, mostly by virtue of singer Polly Browne, who has maintained a fandom for 30 years. The sound is soft rock in a modified group context, similar to the kind of music generated by the Partridge Family, the Cowsills, and, on a two-dimensional level, the Archies in America, slick and smooth, catchy and unthreatening; their version of Paul Simon's "Sound of Silence" is something akin to what the New Seekers' rendition might've been like, while "Days I Remember," which came close to charting in America, is akin to the Carpenters trying their hand at blue-eyed soul. It's all rather pretty, for all of its relative wimpiness, and difficult to dislike on that basis – "Solomon Grundy," the B-side that launched their public success, is one of those tunes that was meant for radio airplay two or three times daily, and the title track, a top-five U.K. hit, is a breezy piece of romantic soft rock.
One of country music s most eclectic heroes, Marty Robbins celebrated an extraordinary career as one of the genre s leading crossover artists. While Marty Robbins maintained a busy schedule throughout his life, it was without a doubt his early career that left the biggest impact on the world of country music. Johnny Cash released a version of I Couldn t Keep From Crying in 1960, while Guy Mitchell recorded versions of both Singing The Blues and Knee Deep In The Blues .
The fourth of five volumes (the first four are two-CD sets) that reissue all of Bessie Smith's recordings traces her career from a period when her popularity was at its height down to just six songs away from the halt of her recording career. But although her commercial fortunes might have slipped, Bessie Smith never declined and these later recordings are consistently powerful. The two-part "Empty Bed Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (hers is the original version) are true classics and none of the other 40 songs (including the double-entendre "Kitchen Man") are throwaways. With strong accompaniment during some performances by trombonist Charlie Green, guitarist Eddie Lang, Clarence Williams's band and on ten songs (eight of which are duets) the masterful pianist James P. Johnson, this volume (as with the others) is quite essential.