Chopin: Polonaises Maurizio Pollini
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- Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Polonaises:
- 1Polonaise No.1 In C Sharp Minor, Op.26 No.108:24
- 2Polonaise No.2 In E Flat Minor, Op.26 No.208:34
- 3Polonaise No.3 In A, Op.40 No.1 - Military05:25
- 4Polonaise No.4 In C Minor, Op.40 No.208:08
- 5Polonaise No.5 In F Sharp Minor, Op.4410:54
- 6Polonaise No.6 In A Flat, Op.53 -Heroic07:05
- 7Polonaise No.7 In A Flat, Op.61 Polonaise-Fantaisie13:07
Info for Chopin: Polonaises
Here is Pollini in all his early glory. His magnificently unsettling Chopin can be as imperious and unarguable as any on record. That his performances are also deeply moving is a tribute to his unique status.
Here is Pollini in all his early glory, in performances expertly transferred from 1976. Shorn of all virtuoso compromise or indulgence, the majestic force of his command is indissolubly integrated with the seriousness of his heroic impulse. Never have I been compelled into such awareness of the underlying malaise beneath the outward and nationalist defiance of the Polonaises. The tension and menace at the start of No. 2 are almost palpable, its storming and disconsolate continuation made a true mirror of Poland’s clouded history. The C minor Polonaise’s denouement, too, emerges with a chilling sense of finality, and Pollini’s way with the pounding audacity commencing at 3'00'' in the epic F sharp minor Polonaise is like some ruthless prophecy of every percussive, anti-lyrical gesture to come. At 7'59'' Chopin’s flame-throwing interjections are volcanic indeed, and if there is ample poetic delicacy and compensation (notably in the Polonaise-fantaisie, always among Chopin’s most profoundly speculative masterpieces), it is the more elemental side of his genius, his ‘canons’ rather than ‘flowers’ that are made to sear and haunt the memory.
To say that Pollini is ‘cold’ (a recent jury colleague; his exact description seemed to me as blinkered as it was unprintable) is to miss the point, to show an incapacity to identify with ‘other points of view’, with possibilities that lie at the very heart of re-creation. Others may be more outwardly beguiling (Pollini is already a wide step from Rubinstein’s belle epoque elegance or Horowitz’s reminder of Russian romantic pianism at its most volatile) but Pollini’s magnificently unsettling Chopin can be as imperious and unarguable as any on record. That his performances are also deeply moving is a tribute to his unique status.“ (Bryce Morrison, Gramophone)
Maurizio Pollini, piano
was born in 1942 and studied with Carlo Lonati and Carlo Vidusso. After winning First Prize at the 1960 Warsaw Chopin Competition, he went on to establish an international career of the greatest importance, performing in the world’s major concert halls and working with the most distinguished orchestras and conductors including Karl Boehm, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, and Riccardo Muti. He was awarded the Vienna Philharmonic Ehrenring in 1987 after performing the Beethoven concertos in New York, the Ernst-von-Siemens Music Prize in Munich in 1966, the ‘A Life for Music – Arthur Rubinstein’ Prize in Venice in 1999 and the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize in Milan in 2000.
In 1995 Maurizio Pollini opened the Festival that Tokyo dedicated to Pierre Boulez and, in the same year, he devised and performed in his own concert series at the Salzburg Festival. He gave similar concert series in New York at Carnegie Hall, in Paris for la Cité de la Musique,Tokyo, and in Rome at the Parco della Musica. The programmes included both chamber and orchestral performances and mirrored his wide musical tastes from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to the present. In summer 2004 he was the ‘Artist Etoile’ at the International Festival Lucerne, performing a recital and concerts with orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez.
Maurizio Pollini’s repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers (including première performances of Manzoni, Nono and Sciarrino) and includes the complete Beethoven Sonatas, which he has performed in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna and Paris. He has recorded works from the classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire to worldwide critical acclaim. His recordings of the complete works for piano by Schoenberg, and of works by Berg, Webern, Manzoni, Nono, Boulez and Stockhausen, are a testament to his great passion for music of the 20th century. Most recently Maurizio Pollini was responsible for the commissioning of the expansion of the original Grido (String Quartet No.3) by Helmut Lachenmann - a pupil of Nono - into Double (Grido II) for a 48-strong string orchestra.
In 2007 Pollini was awarded a Grammy for best Instrumental Soloist Performance and the Disco d’Oro; he received the 2006 Echo Award in Germany, and the Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique and Diapason d’Or de l’Année in France. Most recently he won the Echo Klassik award in the Best Concerto category for his recording of the Brahms First Piano Concerto with Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden.
In 2010 Pollini performed the Chopin Birthday Recital on the anniversary of the composer’s birth in the International Piano Series in London as part of the Chopin 200 celebrations and last season he played a highly successful series of five recitals in the Piano Series at the Royal Festival Hall - The Pollini Project – charting the development of piano music from Bach to Boulez, for which he won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist award.