Two RRG (German Radio) recordings from World War II, presented in the best possible sound. The Pfitzner concerto, a little-known work, was premiered by Gieseking on 16 March, 1923 and was subsequently performed by him for the next two decades frequently in Germany. The performance shows verve and power in full measure alongside moments and interjections of great delicacy. The wartime recording reflects the pianist’s conviction and strong projection of his share in the proceedings. The Grieg concerto performance, previously attributed to Furtwaengler, but now believed to be directed by Heger, finds Gieseking in patrician form, providing both sustained momentum and flexibility. It has an ease and naturalness that belies the technical demands of the work.
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