a master. I heard him play twice in Atlanta in the 90's with the excellent
ASO conductor Yoel Levi. The Emperor on both occasions and also the LVB concerto #1 the second time. He reminded/reminds me most of a fellow Latin-American: Claudio Arrau, but Arrau in his middle years as heard in the fifties EMI Icon LVB concerti and sonatas: pinpoint articulation, rare clarity, power and momemtum, a poetic sensibility. This Emperor also reminds me of the Firkusny-Steinberg EMI version, now probably my favorite with the Fleisher-Szell version. Like Firkusny and Fleisher, Gelber was blessed with a great conductor. Leitner accompanied Kempff in the five Beethoven concerti and four Mozart concerti, including great #s 24 with Kempff and Carl Seemann.
He also recorded (among much else) first rate Haydn and Mozart symphonies and a Handel Julius Caesar (in German) with an ideal cast: Ludwig, Berry, Popp, and Wunderlich.
The Gelber Emperor is slightly more exciting than the Kempff version but equally hushed, unrushed, and poetic in the second movement. The Finale is ripped, almost as intensely as the Firkusny/Steinberg.
Gelber's Pathetique and Moonlight sonatas here are equally good. He recorded about half of the 32 for Denon and they are treasurable.