June 12, 2015

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli's death

Warner Classics releases a lavish boxed set with rare archival photos, some published for the first time.

“It is not a profession to be a pianist and musician. It is a philosophy, a conception of life that cannot be based on good intentions or natural talent. First and foremost there must be a spirit of sacrifice.” –Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli.

Marking 20 years since the death of Michelangeli, one of the last century's most brilliant and sensitive piano virtuosos, is a new 14-CD boxed set of his complete Warner recordings from 1939-75, exploring the evolution of a truly great musician over more than 35 years. The repertoire, spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, encompasses works by all the composers who defined Michelangeli’s art: Bach/Busoni, Chopin, Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy and more.

The cover, individual discs and extensive booklet notes are presented with archival photographs of Michelangeli in Arezzo, Italy, where he gave master classes during the 1950s. With his sleek car, dark sunglasses and perfectly poised cigarette, the pianist passes easily for a film icon from La Dolce Vita.

Used with kind permission of the association Amici della Musica di Arezzo, these images have never before been published in connection with a commercial recording, and offer fascinating insights into the charismatic pianist's career.

Here are just a few examples from this richly illustrated boxed set.

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: the Complete Warner Recordings is out now.