The Radio Legacy is a compilation of the seven part Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the four box sets devoted to the orchestra s chief conductors Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink and Riccardo Chailly, and also featuring more recent recordings with Mariss Jansons.
“Emil Gilels stands out as giant among giants,” wrote Gramophone when the Odessa-born pianist died in 1985. “In terms of virtuosity he was second to none, yet his leonine power was tempered by a delicacy and poetry that few have matched and none has surpassed.” Beethoven was at the heart of Gilels’ repertoire and in 1968 he recorded this complete cycle of the composer’s piano concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra and its long-standing maestro, another musical titan of the era, George Szell.
This seventh and final installment of the Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra covers the years 2000 to 2010, a rich period in the orchestra's history largely characterized by the changing perspectives of a new century. Indeed, it was in 2004 that Riccardo Chailly relinquished his position as chief conductor, to be replaced by the Latvian maestro Mariss Jansons, who shifted the orchestra's focus more towards Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss and Shostakovich. A generation of orchestral players retired and were succeeded by a group of outstanding young musicians, most of them hailing from outside the Netherlands, resulting in a growing internationalization of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Also in this period, the launch of the orchestra's own in-house record label, RCO Live, breathed new life into its rich recording tradition.