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Walter Gieseking

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Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique": II. Adagio cantabile Walter Gieseking 05:47
Franck: Symphonic Variations, FWV 46 Walter Gieseking 16:01
Préludes, Livre 1: La fille aux cheveux de lin Claude Debussy, Walter Gieseking 02:23
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Book V, Op. 62: No. 5 in A Minor, MWV U151 Walter Gieseking 02:54
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Book VII, Op. 85: No. 4 in D Major, MWV U192 Walter Gieseking 02:48
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Book VI, Op. 67: No. 3 in B-Flat Major, MWV U102 Walter Gieseking 02:44
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488: II. Adagio Walter Gieseking 06:53
Ravel: Menuet sur le nom de Haydn, M. 58 Walter Gieseking 02:03
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Book V, Op. 62: No. 6 in A Major, MWV U161 "Spring Song" (Recorded 1951, Alternate Take) Walter Gieseking 02:32
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Book III, Op. 38: No. 6 in A-Flat Major, MWV U119 Walter Gieseking 04:55

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Born in Lyon, France on November 5, 1895, German concert pianist Walter Gieseking was renowned for being one of the greatest concert pianists of his era. However, his career - especially in the post war period - was often mired in controversy. He was suspected by many for being a supporter of the Nazi Party because he had often played for Nazi cultural organizations such as the NS Kulturegemeinde during the World War II. This led to him - and a number of other German performers - being blacklisted immediately after the war. In 1947, the American military authorities in Germany lifted a performing ban which had been imposed on him. Walter Gieseking began touring and performing, although protests followed him wherever he went. This led to a much-publicized 1949 concert tour of the US being cancelled. He eventually returned to the US in 1953 by which time much of the post-war anger regarding Nazi sympathizers had dissipated. During this tour, Walter Gieseking had no trouble selling out Carnegie Hall in New York City. Of his recorded legacy he created during his career, perhaps the most extraordinary is his rendition of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto recorded for Columbia in 1934. It is now regarded by classical music buffs as one the greatest concerto recordings ever made. Interestingly, on a subsequent recording of the same piece by the artist made in 1944 in Berlin, anti-aircraft fire can clearly be heard in the background. Walter Gieseking continued to record right up until his death on October 26, 1956, at the age of 60. In the decades since his death, his music has been reissued numerous times on compilations such as Mozart: Piano Works (2017), Debussy: The Complete Piano Works (2022), and the 48 CD box set The Complete Warner Classics Edition, which contains all of his recordings between 1923 and 1956 originally released on the labels Columbia Graphophone and Homocord.