Major Russian pianist Emil Gilels, born October 19, 1916 in Odessa,early was recognized as a master of the keyboard. He won a numerous prestigious prizes, but for political reasons was unable to perform in the United States unt8il 1955 when his performance of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No.1, with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, created a great demand for other appearances in the U.S. This new Sony 9-disk set contains all of his recordings for RCA and Columbia. Each disk contains what was on the original release, with program notes and album covers (which might bring back many memories for some collectors). There is a separate thin booklet with minimal program notes and several photos. We have two performances of Tchaikovsky One (with Reiner and Mehta), concertos of Brahms and Chopin, plus music of Liszt, Schubert, Bach, and Shostakovich This is a welcome collection, and the remastered recordings sound better than ever. However, Gilels made many other recordings, particularly for EMI including Beethoven concertos with André Cluiytens, George Szell, Sir Adrian Boult and Kurt Sanderling. Collectors surely should investigate these to supplement the fine new Sony issue. Gilels died in October 1985; he was only 68, a major loss to the musical world.

R.E.B. (October 2016)