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Bella Davidovich

Bella Davidovich The Philips Legacy (8CD)

"Russia’s best-kept secret”, shouted the advertisements for her first Philips recordings, but critics were quick to observe that Davidovich did not fit the popular stereotype of the broad-scaled romantic Russian pianist, overpowering the music at every turn. She brought a poetic approach to everything she played, and Philips recorded her in repertoire which played to her strengths, beginning with Swiss sessions in March 1979 of Beethoven sonatas, Schumann’s "Carnaval" and Chopin’s "Preludes". More Chopin followed, including the concertos accompanied by Sir Neville Marriner – and then an album of Rachmaninov and Saint-Saens at the Concertgebouw, where she had established a warm rapport with both the Dutch orchestra and audience some years before her emigration.

These albums were all analogue recordings, dating from 1979-81, and Davidovich’s Philips discography came to an end with a lone digitally recorded recital of Scriabin and Prokofiev (including a superbly pointed selection of pieces from Romeo and Juliet), belatedly issued in 1985. Featuring original covers and new remasterings, the set is annotated with a new essay by the piano historian Mark Ainley and a personal tribute by Davidovich’s son, the violinist Dmitri Sitkovetsky.

CD 1
BEETHOVEN
Piano Sonata No. 18 ‘The Hunt’
Piano Sonata No. 14 ‘Moonlight’
Bagatelle in A minor ‘Für Elise’

CD 2
CHOPIN
Piano Concerto No. 1
Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante
Neville Marriner

CD 3
CHOPIN
Piano Concerto No. 2
Krakowiak — Concert Rondo in F major, Op. 14
Neville Marriner

CD 4
CHOPIN
24 Préludes, Op. 28
Polonaise, Op. 40 No. 2
Rondeau, Op. 16
Barcarolle, Op. 60

CD 5
CHOPIN
Four Ballades
Four Impromptus

CD 6
SCHUMANN
Carnaval
Humoreske

CD 7
RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2
Neeme Järvi

CD 8
PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 3
Pieces from ‘Romeo and Juliet’
SCRIABIN Piano Sonata No. 2
Deux Poèmes, Op. 32
Mazurkas, Op 25 No. 3 & Op. 40
Valse, Op. 38