music clip of the day


Tag: Emil Gilels

Saturday, April 18th

never enough

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Piano sonata K.281, 0:00; Variations on “Salve tu, Domine” K.398, 21:14; Variations on “Unser dummer Pöbel meint” K.455, 29:51; Fantasy K.397, 44:27; Piano sonata K.310, 50:52), Robert Schumann (Arabeske op.18, 1:14:05; Toccata op.7, 1:21:05); Emil Gilels (1916-1985, piano), live, Moscow, 1970




musical thoughts

Mozart was a kind of idol to me—this rapturous singing . . . that’s always on the edge of sadness and melancholy and disappointment and heartbreak, but always ready for an outburst of the most delicious music.

—Novelist Saul Bellow1915-2005


random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Wednesday, May 27th

Sit back. Close your eyes. Listen—just listen.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (“Waldstein”); Emil Gilels (1916-1985), live



reading table

My boys.

I don’t have them to hold. What do I do with my arms?

—Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave

Tuesday, 1/12/10

I began listening to this piano sonata many years ago, after discovering, at our local library, a recording of it by Claudio Arrau, which I proceeded to check out over and over again (until I finally bought it). Since then I’ve also heard recordings by Artur Schnabel and Wilhelm Kempff and Solomon and Andras Schiff, as well as this one (thanks to my brother-in-law John, who gave it to me as a present years ago). As with any masterpiece, there’s no such thing as a “definitive” performance; it’s inexhaustible. Different performances reveal different dimensions. Listen to the way the dark, subdued second movement opens up to the joyous third movement: it’s one of the most hopeful passages of music I know—one I never tire of hearing.

Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 (“Waldstein”)/Emil Gilels, piano (1972)

Part 1 (beginning of 1st Movement)


Part 2 (end of 1st Movement and 2nd Movement [begins at 2:41])


Part 3 (3rd Movement)

%d bloggers like this: