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A rare find indeed! Privately but professionally recorded in clear mono sound, appearing from nowhere after more than half a century, this issue of an almost complete recital from 1964 shows Gilels at his absolute peak. Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata is vigorous and direct, if not as rapt as his later studio recording for the same label; Chopin’s Mozart variations and Prokofiev’s compact third sonata are splendid, while the first book of Debussy’s Images display almost superhuman focus and command. It is tantalising that what could be a spectacular first ballade of Chopin is sitting on a shelf somewhere.

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