…Although little known in the West, never having toured or recorded there, Sofronitsky was held in the highest regard in his native land. Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels looked up to Sofronitsky as their master, and famously, when Sofronitsky once drunkenly proclaimed that Richter was a genius, in return Richter toasted him and proclaimed him a god. Upon hearing of Sofronitsky's death, Gilels was reputed to have said that "the greatest pianist in the world has died."…
T. Shebanova is a laureate of four international piano competitions: "Concertino-Prague" (1969, 1st prize), in Geneva (1976, Grand Prix and two special prizes — "American" and Ernest Shelling), F. Chopin in Warsaw (1980, 2nd prize and two special prizes for the best performing of polonaise and concert), "Bosendorfer-Empire" in Brussels (1990, Grand Prix and three special prizes). The pianist has a busy schedule of appearances in the Soviet Union, in almost all European countries and in Philippines and Taiwan. During her six guest tours on Japan she gave more than 100 concerts. T. Shebanova has a vast repertoire, recorded more than 30 LPs and CDs for "Melodiya" company (USSR), "Victor", "CBS-Sony", "Pony-Canyon" (Japan). "Muza" (Poland), "Pan-ton" (Czechoslovakia), "Empire" (Belgium).
Chopin has been a central part of Ashkenazy's repertory since his participation in the International Chopin Competition at Warsaw in 1955, when he won second prize at the age of eighteen. During the years 1974-1984 Ashkenazy recorded his acclaimed survey of Chopin's solo piano music. In the early part of his recording career he had recorded selected works and from time to time he has revisted key pieces in the studio. This new recital brings together a selection of late Chopin pieces and includes one of Ashkenazy's favourite nocturnes, Op.62 no.1 in B major, a piece which he regularly performs as an encore at his recitals.
"It is my best work, with a primarily cheerful character". This was Gustav Mahler's assessment of his Symphony No. 7, which was also highly regarded by Arnold Schoenberg, who said, "I had an impression of absolute peace based on artistic harmony. Something able to set me in motion without recklessly unsettling my center of gravity." Riccardo Chailly, in his internationally acclaimed interpretations of Mahler's symphonies - which he and the Gewandhaus Orchestra are bringing together in a complete cycle - focuses on the musical qualities of the works, eschewing false pathos and sentimentality while giving up none of the music's dramatic intensity. "Mahler's Seventh Symphony, in which the composer pulled out all expressive stops and revealed himself to be an innovative modernist, has seldom been as persuasive and direct as in Chailly's interpretation", said the Frankfurter Neue Presse.