Andrei Gavrilov

Grieg: Lyric Pieces

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AllMusic Review by

A splendid program superbly played, Russian pianist Andrei Gavrilov's 1993 collection of Grieg's Lyric Pieces falls only just short of greatness. Certainly, the selection is splendid. Out of 66 pieces, Gavrilov has chosen 24, mixing some of the best known, such as Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Op. 65/6, and the March of the Dwarves, Op. 54/3, with some of the less known, like Ariette, Op. 12/1, and Gone, Op. 71/6. The result is an appealing mixture of the familiar and the not-so-familiar. And surely the playing is superb. Gavrilov was one of the finest pianists to come out of the USSR after Richter and Gilels, and his technique is both brightly polished and brilliantly virtuosic. Indeed, one can have only two reservations about his performances, one intrinsic, the other extrinsic. First, Gavrilov may not be quite lyrical enough for some, with not enough legato in the fingers and enough sustain in the pedal to make the Lyric Pieces really sing. Second, Gavrilov is out-gunned by two earlier pianists in this repertoire: the gentle Walter Gieseking, whose 1956 recordings of 31 of the works is as sweet, as tender, and as lovingly lyrical as one could ask, and Emil Gilels, whose 1964 recording of 20 of the works is as colorful, as rhythmic, and as thrillingly virtuosic as one could hope. While Gavrilov's disc will make a fine addition to any Grieg shelf, that shelf should start with Gieseking and Gilels. DG's 1993 digital sound is clean, clear, crisp, deep, and honest, if a bit hard in the upper frequencies.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:13
Berceuse, lyric piece for piano, Op. 38/1
2
3:11
Lyric Pieces (6) for piano, Book 3, Op. 43
3
1:33
4
2:17
5
2:55
Lyric Pieces (7) for piano, Book 4, Op. 47
6
3:06
7
4:00
8
1:29
9
5:23
Lyric Pieces (6) for piano, Book 5, Op. 54
10
3:05
11
2:24
12
4:35
13
2:59
14
4:46
15
1:28
Lyric Pieces (6) for piano, Book 8, Op. 65
16
3:23
17
5:15
Lyric Pieces (6) for piano, Book 9, Op. 68
18
2:49
19
3:32
Lyric Pieces (7) for piano, Book 10, Op. 71
20
4:38
21
2:34
22
1:30
23
3:31
24
2:01
blue highlight denotes track pick