Walter Gieseking - The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities

This is a recording from Appian Publications & Recordings Ltd (to quote the full title)—the label invariably more familiarly known simply as "APR".

Since its foundation in 1986, APR has won an enviable reputation as a quality label devoted predominantly—though not exclusively—to historic piano recordings. In particular APR has won countless laurels for the high standard of its 78rpm restoration work—"Transfers of genius" to quote one critic—as well as the detail and content of its booklets.

Walter Gieseking is known as one of the greatest 20th-century pianists, and his playing of Debussy and Ravel in particular is often regarded as definitive. For most of his recording career he recorded for Columbia, and many of these recordings have been frequently reissued, but his earliest recordings were made in the 1920s for the German label Homocord and these are hardly known. This set brings together all of them in their first complete CD transfer, and sheds new light on Gieseking’s playing. We hear him in composers such as Chopin and Liszt who he did not feature much in his later years, as well as his earliest takes on the repertoire for which he was to become best known.

The set is completed with other rarities: his single Brunswick disc and various previously unissued recordings from a variety of labels. Of particular interest are two major works for flute and piano where we find Gieseking in his much less well known role of composer.

APR6013  159 minutes 23 seconds (2 discs)
‘Who else has ever captured the elusive, evanescent magic of early Debussy … to this extent; or relished Poulenc's delight in the quirky and urbane …? … his Brahms and Ravel may come in ...
BBC Music Magazine