Soviet Invasion

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Emil Gilels, part of the Russian import of great musicians that included Sviatoslav Richter and David Oistrakh, performs Beethoven. Known for his powerfully convincing and convincingly powerful playing, Gilels was ideally suited for Ludwig van’s muscular concerto. Fellow Russian Yakov Zak joins him for Mozart’s spritely Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, and Kiril Kondrashin conducts both. The Period Records album (c. 1955) has the look of a billboard, with the pianist’s name in huge font looking as if it’s advertising a newfangled appliance called a Gilels, while a piano sits off in the background.

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