These four titles are the first in a comprehensive survey of the many great pianists who worked in Russia in the Soviet era. The bulk of the issues will be divided into 'schools' which represent the three main teachers of this period - Neuhaus, Goldenweiser and Igumnov, - and their pupils. We begin with perhaps the greatest of these - Neuhaus, and two of his pupils - Emil Gilels & Yakov Zak.
Along with Sviatoslav Richter (to feature later) Emil Gilels was regarded as the greatest of the Soviet pianists and, as he was allowed to travel to the west, he become know as one of the supreme pianists of the 20th century. Latterly he became known as a great player of Beethoven & Brahms. Here, in a selection of his earliest recordings, we see a different side to his talent as he reveals an astonishing virtuosity in such warhorses as the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Schumann Toccata. Balancing the recital we also present the earliest of what were to be many Beethoven recordings and a performance of Prokofiev’s 2nd Sonata which reminds us why he was the dedicatee of that composer’s 8th, and greatest, Sonata.