Walter Gieseking - Piano (4 CD box set, APE)
Walter Gieseking - Piano (4 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Walter Gieseking
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 4 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Andante
Size: 1.13 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Mitglieder des Orchesters der Staatsoper Berlin
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Hans Rosbaud

# Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major (“Emperor”), Op. 73
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Bruno Walter

# Partita for keyboard No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 (BC L1) Menuet 1 & 2
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
with Walter Gieseking

# Partita for keyboard No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 (BC L1) Giga
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
with Walter Gieseking

# Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (“Waldstein”), Op. 53
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Walter Gieseking

# Bagatelle for piano in E flat major, Op. 33/1
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Walter Gieseking

# Partita for keyboard No. 5 in G major, BWV 829 (BC L5)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
with Walter Gieseking

# Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
with Walter Gieseking

# Intermezzo for piano in E flat minor, Op. 118/6
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Walter Gieseking

# Intermezzo for piano in A flat major, Op. 76/3
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Walter Gieseking

# Intermezzo for piano in B flat major, Op. 76/4
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Walter Gieseking

# Intermezzo for piano in E major, Op. 116/4
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Walter Gieseking

# Intermezzo for piano in E minor, Op. 119/2
Composed by Johannes Brahms
with Walter Gieseking

# Rêverie, for piano, L. 68
Composed by Claude Debussy
with Walter Gieseking

# Ständchen (“Mach’ auf, mach’ auf, doch leise, mein Kind”), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/2 (TrV 149/2)
Composed by Richard Strauss
with Walter Gieseking

# Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Composed by Edvard Grieg
Performed by Berlin State Opera Orchestra
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Hans Rosbaud

# Bådnlåt (At the Cradle), lyric piece for piano, Op. 68/5
Composed by Edvard Grieg
with Walter Gieseking

# Fransk serenade (French Serenade), lyric piece for piano, Op. 62/3
Composed by Edvard Grieg
with Walter Gieseking

# Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Composed by Robert Schumann
Performed by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler

# Piano Sonata No. 15 in C major (“Sonata semplice”) K. 545
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
with Walter Gieseking

# Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Composed by Sergey Rachmaninov
Performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Willem Mengelberg

# Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
Composed by Sergey Rachmaninov
Performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
with Walter Gieseking
Conducted by Willem Mengelberg

Gieseking Playing Mostly Non-French Repertoire!

As time goes on people have tended to forget that Walter Gieseking (1895-1956) was a pianist with a very broad repertoire; he has been remembered primarily for his playing of French music (Debussy, Ravel) or French-influenced music (Scriabin), and many reissues of his many recordings in those areas are readily available. This 4CD collection from Andante contains music that is mostly from the non-French area: Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Grieg, Schumann, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and even the little ‘Ständchen’ of Richard Strauss in Gieseking’s own transcription. Since Amazon has not, as of this writing, specified the set’s contents I will do so here:

CD1: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Rosbaud, Berlin State Opera Orch., 1937), No. 5 (Walter, VPO, 1934), two movements from Bach’s Partita No. 1

CD2: Beethoven: Waldstein Sonata; Bagatelle in E flat, Op. 33, No. 1; Bach: Partita No. 5 in G; Beethoven: Sonata No. 28 in A, Op. 101; Brahms: 5 Intermezzi from Opp. 76, 116, 118, 110; Debussy: Réverie; Strauss: Ständchen, Op. 17, No. 2

CD3: Grieg: Piano Concerto (Rosbaud, Berlin State Opera Orch., 1937); Grieg: Cradle Song & French Serenade; Schumann: Piano Concerto (Furtwängler, BPO, 1942); Mozart: Sonata No. 16 in C, K. 545

CD4: Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Mengelberg, Concertgebouw, 1940); PC No. 3 (Mengelberg, Concertgebouw, 1940)

Many of these recordings are live and there is slight audience noise and applause. In general the sound is remarkable for the time. As for the playing, Gieseking was a master of musicality and had a lovely touch. There are a number of noticeable clinkers in the live performances, none of them particularly awful and some of them rather endearing. His playing is characterized by a liveliness and élan as well as subtle phrasing, voicing of chords, and clearly delineated polyphony. I particularly liked his somewhat Romantic Bach, his hellbent-for-leather Beethoven fast movements (the Waldstein is fabulous in that regard). I don’t know of any other Gieseking recording of the First Beethoven PC, but of course he recorded the Emperor several times. This one is wonderful, atmospheric, and he manages that hesitant transition from II to III with a suspenseful fermata before he plunges headlong into the Rondo. The Rachmaninoff Third is a little weak technically (and the sound is not the best, either) but the Second is one of the better ones I know.

All in all, this collection is worth having–although it is a little pricey. There is not a bad performance in the lot, and some of them are simply superb–the Waldstein, First and Fifth Beethoven PCs, Schumann and Grieg PCs, Rachy 2, the little Mozart C major sonata beloved by all young piano students, Debussy ‘Réverie.’

This one will happily be given space on my shelves.

4CDs: ca. 5 hrs

Scott Morrison

2 Comments

  1. Thank you!! so much I was looking this panist for years .. what a wonderufl surprise today here when I discover to Walter Gieseking !! thank youuu so much .

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