Emil Gilels - The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon

A 24-CD box set to celebrate his 100th anniversary

In the recordings of Emil Gilels one can witness the evolutionary process at work, both on a large scale and, still more remarkably, within single performances.


Gilels himself was acutely aware of this, often commenting that he never played a piece the same way twice. Nor was this just a question of technique and character. The musical ideas were different. Gilels was a born explorer. Every performance, however masterly, even titanic, was a hypothesis, part of an ever-changing vision. One view, not the view.


As he early perceived, no single performance can reveal all the possibilities of any piece, from the slightest and shortest to the most epic and complex (Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata; the Brahms B flat Concerto). So great are the differences between his playing of one Beethoven sonata and another that it becomes a nonsense to talk (even to conceive) of “Gilels’s Beethoven”. Or Gilels’s anything else.


His relation to any given work was akin to that between a portraitist and his subject. Each reflects the appearance and character of a unique individual (the work), captured at an equally unique point in time – a moment which will never recur. For all the overwhelming authority and vision of his most transcendent achievements, Gilels was a living refutation of preconception.


His every performance was a fresh encounter. To preserve this cycle of endless rediscovery, he seldom kept a work in his active repertoire for very long before setting it aside to mellow and mature. As he told an interviewer: “When I’ve performed a piece three times, I think I’ve played it quite enough.

Emil Gilels

The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon

Int. Release Date: 04 Dec 2015

CD Overview



CD 1: Nos. 2, 3 & Electoral Sonatas

CD 2: Nos. 4, 8 Pathétique, 10

CD 3: Nos. 5 – 7

CD 4: Nos. 11, 12 & Eroica Variations                                           

CD 5: Nos. 13, 14 Moonlight, 15 Pastoral

CD 6: Nos. 16, 17 The Tempest, 18

CD 7: Nos. 19, 20, 21 Waldstein, 23 Appassionata, 25     

CD 8: Nos. 26 Les Adieux, 27, 30, 31

CD 9: Nos. 28, 29 Hammerklavier



CD 10: Piano Quartet No. 1 (Amadeus Quartet) / Ballades op. 10

CD 11-12: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (BPH, Jochum) / Fantasias op. 116                                          



CD 13: Sonata No. 3, Polonaises Nos. 3,4 & 6       



CD 14: Lyric Pieces



CD 15: Sonatas K 281 & 310, Fantasia K 397, Variations on “Salve tu, Domine” K 398

CD 16: Piano Concerto No. 27, Concerto for 2 Pianos K 365 (Elena Gilels, WPH, Böhm)



CD 17: Piano Quintet The Trout (Amadeus Quartet) / Fantasia D 940 & Rondo D 951 / Andantino varié D 823 / 2 & Écossaises D 145 (with Elena Gilels)



CD 19:BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 3 / MEDTNER: Piano Sonata No. 5           

CD 20: HAYDN Piano Trio Hob. XV:19 / BEETHOVEN Piano Trios WoO 38 & op. 97 Archduke (Kogan, Rostropovich)

CD 21: HAYDN Piano Trio Hob. XV:16  / SCHUMANN Piano Trio No. 1 (Kogan, Rostropovich) / FAURÉ Piano Quartet No. 1 (Kogan, Rostropovich, Barshai)

CD 22: BRAHMS Trio for Piano, Violin and Horn (Kogan, Shapiro) / ALABIEV Piano Quintet (Beethoven Quartet)

CD 23: BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 (Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Sanderling)

CD 24: PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 (USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kondrashin) / KABALEVSKY Piano Concerto No. 3 (USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kabalevsky)