Although his post-war recordings are best known, many regard Gieseking’s finest years in the studio as the 1930s and this set includes all the concerto recordings he made in that decade. He didn’t record much Liszt, but the first concerto he set down was that composer’s 1st, and he gives a swashbuckling performance, revealing a very different side of his pianism to the refinement of his justly renowned Debussy and Ravel. Another Gieseking favourite was Grieg and he gives a classic account of the concerto with the two exquisitely performed Lyric Pieces which were the filler on the final side of the original 78rpm set also included. Gieseking’s Beethoven is classical and Mozartean so it’s no surprise that the 1st concerto comes off particularly well, though Bruno Walter’s contribution in the ‘Emperor’ makes it also a major event. Columbia’s sound is excellent for its time.
MOZART Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat major ‘Jeunehomme’ K271 - BERLIN STATE OPERA HOUSE ORCHESTRA / HANS ROSBAUD Recorded in Berlin on 29 September 1936; Piano Sonata in B flat major K570 - Recorded in Berlin on 30 September 1936;
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 1 in C major Op 15 - BERLIN STATE OPERA HOUSE ORCHESTRA / HANS ROSBAUD Recorded in Berlin on 28 April 1937; Piano Concerto No 4 in G major Op 58 - SAXON STATE ORCHESTRA / KARL BÖHM Recorded in Berlin on 3 January 1939; Piano Concerto No 5 in E flat major ‘Emperor’ Op 73 - VIENNA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA / BRUNO WALTER Recorded in Vienna on 10–11 September 1934;
BACH Partita No 1 in B flat major BWV825: Menuett I – Menuett II – Gigue - Recorded in Vienna on 10 September 1934;
LISZT Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat major S124 - LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA / SIR HENRY J WOOD Recorded in London on 31 October 1932;
FRANCK Variations symphoniques M46 - LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA / SIR HENRY J WOOD Recorded in London on 31 October 1932;
GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16 - BERLIN STATE OPERA HOUSE ORCHESTRA / HANS ROSBAUD Recorded in Berlin on 28 April & 13 October 1937;Lyric Pieces. At the Cradle Op 68 No 5 - French Serenade Op 62 No 3 - Recorded in Berlin on 29 April 1937;