Andrei Gavrilov – Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon (10CD)
DG Eloquence
Catalogue No.
Several long-deleted albums reissued in this comprehensive survey of Andrei Gavrilov’s DG career: superbly engineered recordings of a pianist in the great Russian tradition.

For three years in the early 1990s, Andrei Gavrilov belonged to the Deutsche Grammophon stable of artists, alongside his contemporaries Krystian Zimerman and Ivo Pogorelich. Like them he had technique to burn and a searching approach to repertoire which in the hands of other pianists has often become an exhibition of facility. During that period he made nine albums, both revisiting classics of his repertoire and taking on new challenges. He also joined his Decca colleague Vladimir Ashkenazy for a Stravinsky disc which had critics purring over the dynamism and finesse of The Rite of Spring in its two-piano arrangement.

To begin with, the Impromptus of Schubert took some listeners aback with their restraint and simplicity of phrasing. His response to Chopin (Ballades and Second Sonata), Ravel (Gaspard de la nuit) and Prokofiev (sonatas and Romeo and Juliet) proved to be even fuller and deeper than in the 1980s recordings which had launched his international recording career after a spectacular triumph at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974.

Gavrilov paid homage to his countryman Emil Gilels with a sublime selection from Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, returned to the French Suites of Bach and set down a highly individual version of the Goldberg Variations, all graced with the sophistication of touch and colour at the piano which set him apart even from the most talented of his Russian contemporaries. Inspired by his friendship with Sviatoslav Richter, he even took on the piano parts for a selection of Britten choral works, in a Viennese-made recording.

This original covers box features new essays on the pianist and his career by Peter Quantrill and Peter Czornyj, Gavrilov’s producer at Deutsche Grammophon

CD 1

Goldberg Variations, BWV 988                                                                                                                                        

CDs 2–3
French Suites Nos. 1–6                                                                                                                                                       

CD 4
FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Impromptus, D.899 & 935                                                                                                                                                 

CD 5
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
Four Ballades

CD 6
EDVARD GRIEG (1843–1907)
Lyric Pieces (selection)

CD 7
Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28
Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83
Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major, Op. 84

CD 8
Ten Pieces for Piano from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75                                                                                             
Suggestion diabolique, Op. 4 No. 4                                                                                                                               
Prelude in C major, Op. 12 No. 7                                                                                                                                    

MAURICE RAVEL (1875–1937)
Gaspard de la nuit                                                                                                                                                                          
Pavane pour une infante défunte                                                                                                                                  

CD 9
Friday Afternoons, Op. 7
Sailing, Op. 5 No. 2 (Holiday Diary)
The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard                                                                                                     
Night, Op. 5 No. 4 (Holiday Diary)
The Golden Vanity, Op. 78                                                                                                                                                
Gernot Fuhrmann, Mark Bittermann, Michael Matzner, trebles
Thomas Weinhappel, Wolfgang Wieringer, boy altos
Wiener Sängerknaben · Jaume Miranda, chorus master
Chorus Viennensis · Peter Marschik, chorus master

CD 10
Scherzo à la Russe                                                                                                                                                                
Concerto for Two Pianos                                                                                                                                                    
Sonata for Two Pianos
Le Sacre du printemps
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano (II)

 Andrei Gavrilov, piano


“Gavrilov’s set [of Chopin] finds him in excellent form. Here we find finesse and control as well as real poetic feeling … very good and realistic sound.” Penguin Guide (Chopin)

 “Gavrilov both a positive accompanist and a sympathetic soloist … a fresh and lively disc.” Penguin Guide (Britten)

 “Very well played and recorded, and there is no reason to deny it a three-star recommendation.” Penguin Guide (Grieg)

 “Selfless playing which serves Schubert well … [with] something of the divine simplicity for which this music calls.” Penguin Guide (Schubert)

 “A breathtaking exhibition of unanimity, rhythmic projection and keyboard colour … Marvellously exhilarating performances by Ashkenazy and Gavrilov, whose virtuosity is matched by a sense of spontaneity and delight in their music-making.” Penguin Guide (Stravinsky)

 “Exciting and exhilarating, and [in No. 7] totally devoid of any exaggeration. In No. 8 he is equally if not more successful, and can withstand the most exalted comparisons.” Penguin Guide (Prokofiev Sonatas)

 “Gavrilov conveys the enormous inner vitality of these suites and makes this music vibrant … While he is playing one feels there is no other way to play this music.” Penguin Guide (Bach: French Suites)

 “The first two movements of the B flat minor Sonata have a demonic urgency. In the Scherzo it’s amazing to be given such accuracy and textural clarity at full speed … Beautifully finished piano playing.” Gramophone, June 1992 (Chopin)

 “Cards on the table, Gavrilov’s reading of the first movement of the Seventh Sonata is one of the finest I’ve heard … finely controlled playing and subtle nodal-pointing.” Gramophone, June 1992 (Prokofiev: Sonatas)

 “A most surprising disc – and most rewarding… sensitive, musicianly playing, often poetic.” Fanfare, November 1993 (Schubert)

 “I have never heard the Nocturne from Op. 54 played more beautifully … His lucid, perfectly poised pianism allows his inspiration to soar.” Gramophone, December 1993 (Grieg)

 “Gavrilov is a wizard of a pianist, and there is much beguiling playing here. I especially enjoyed his sparkling rendition of ‘Wedding Day at Troldhaugen’.” Fanfare, May 1994 (Grieg)

 “I can hardly imagine finer realizations of this music … The sonata is elegance itself, the Scherzo à la russe is a delight, and Le Sacre is an absolute knockout.” Stereo Review, August 1994

 “His second go-rounds are even better than the first … I’ve never heard this [Romeo and Juliet] suite done better.” Fanfare, September 1994 (Prokofiev/Ravel)

 “If you’re in the mood for a piano Goldbergs where forthright entertainment trumps musical depth (and there’s nothing wrong with that), Gavrilov’s just what the doctor ordered.” Classics Today (Bach)