Mr. Gilels’ Rose-Gold Heart

Emil Gilels’ performance of Scarlatti Sonata K533


Emil Gilels is one of the most important pianists of all time. This painting is based on his performance of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata K533, which he recorded on multiple occasions, including the live performance here. The title Mr. Gilels’ Rose-Gold Heart makes reference not only to the effect of war on his career and his first performances outside the Soviet Union, but also to the golden core of the painting. The painting takes on the colors of a body of water, maybe a river, surrounded by trees, with a hot sun sitting on the horizon line but not fully visible – a place where you would find water temperatures suitable for cattails. It depicts the final section of the Sonata, all the way through to the end. It is hard to describe the mood of the Sonata, but it is warm and fair and intelligent and powerful. Listen to it for yourself.