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 Post subject: Maurizio Pollini
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:41 am 
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Here we witness Pollini doing some very, how shall I put this, idiomatic things to the poor piano. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VJzmV4K ... ed&search=

At first sight of this mega-genius acting like a buffoon with all the concentration of Socrates, I laughed so hard I had an asthma attack. (no kidding)
:lol:

But seriously, I like Pollini. His cold, hard, clinical, calculating, uncompromising musical statements are beautiful not in the sentimental sense, but beautiful via the physical and spiritual profundity he exudes. Every fiber of his being is inextricably linked to the piece at hand (like Gould). That counts for a lot, IMO.

I wish he could manage a genuine smile now and again; he always has a slight look irritation whilst bowing, as though he's got a toothache and needs to hurry off to the dentist. I think if it was up to him, he would be perfectly content to remain stonefaced and unemotional. Not that tere's anything wrong with that :lol:

Pierre


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:10 pm 
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Haha his elbow :lol: !

Yeah pretty good performance I think. In general I think Pollini is a good pianist, but there is something in his playing that I don't really like. He plays Chopin with quite much rubato, which sometimes sounds a bit rushed. I'm not a big Pollini fan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:35 pm 
I think that Pollini's style is anti-romantic and not inherent with the world of Chopin's music.
He hates rubato and "bel canto phrasing" which are among the signatures of Chopin.
He loves quantization and serialism which are NOT among the signatures of Chopin.
Pollini's world, IMHO, begins and ends with Stockhausen, Boulez etc... and he plays all in the same way these musicians think and realize their compositions. In Chopin (and Schumann, and in Beethoven too) I prefer 100 pianists to Pollini.
He plays Chopin in a manner similar to another overconsidered pianist : Arthur Rubinstein.
If one listen to and enjoy Friedman, Hoffmann, Rachmaninov, ABM ,Richter, Sofronitki, Cortot,
Francois, and between living pianists Pogorelich, Pletnev, or Sokolov, this one can easily live
without Pollini or Rubinstein.

Sandro Bisotti


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Oh my, I disagree. :lol:

Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:45 am 
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I agree partly on your assessment of Pollini. He is the antithesis of a romantic pianist, though for sheer steely virtuosity and total intellectual command he is your man. But he may have mellowed now, I have not heard his recent Nocturnes but they are supposed to be very good.

But to dismiss Rubinstein as an overrated pianist with no affinity with Chopin !? :shock: That will not do. Surely Rubinstein was one of the greatest Chopin interpreters of all times. I don't think his Chopin playing is anything like Pollini's.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:04 pm 
> He is the antithesis of a romantic pianist,

and then when he plays romantic music......
Ok, ok, it is not so simple.


> I have not heard his recent Nocturnes but they are supposed to be very good.

In my modest opinion, I prefer Samson Francois between the "integralists" and a lot of others
among the "not integralists". Recently I discovered the astonishing quality of sound, phrasing
and conception of Vitaly Margulis in these pieces (and not only there).

> Surely Rubinstein was one of the greatest Chopin interpreters of all times.

Not in my opinion and in my taste. When my friends and I listen to a "compilation"
of the same Chopin's piece played by a group of different pianists, Rubinstein (and Pollini)
never wins. In comparison (to stay at about that generation) to Horowitz,
Friedman, Hofmann, Cortot, Richter, Rachmaninov, Sofronitzky and others , the kind
of Rubinstein' pianosm seems poor to me. He was a brilliant man and a very good pianist (after
about 1950) , with an exellent public image, but one is not forced to consider him (it's my case, only my case) greater than Rachmaninov,Benedetti Michelangeli, Sofronitzky, Friedman, Hofmann, Cherkassky, Magaloff, Arrau, Richter, Bunin, Sokolov, Pogorelich, Pletnev, Kissin, Cortot, Francois, Margulis....

best regards,
Sandro


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:16 am 
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Location: New Zealand
I have a recording of his Chopin Etudes at home, and its electrifying........


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:56 am 
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I just purchased ticket to see Pollini in a couple weeks. He's playing mostly Chopin. I'll give a report afterwards. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:29 am 
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In case anybody is interested, today I went to Pollini’s concert. I have never seen him perform before, nor have I really ever listened carefully to his recordings, but I can say that he played very well. I tend to say this about all the ‘big shots’ though.
The first half of the program was all Chopin: C-sharp minor prelude, Ballade No. 2, Scherzo #3, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 and two nocturnes – c-sharp minor, op. 27, no. 1 and d-flat major op. 27, no. 2. I was impressed with the scherzo (‘cause I like that one) and the Polonaise was great. But the nocturnes…well…they were perfect. As he got to the end of the 27/1, I thought he was rushing a little on the last two or three bars and I wished he would have taken more time. But then I found out why – he didn’t end at the end, he melded it right into the beginning of the 27/2 and it was breathtaking. I may be ignorant, but I’ve never heard that before and don’t know if this is a common thing or not. And my favorite is the first one, but he played the second one so well, I felt my heart tightening. It was so beautiful.

The second half was Debussy Etudes, Book 2 which were nice. I did space out for one whole piece, though, and I had to nudge my husband to wake him up before he started snoring. And then Pollini played a Boulez Piano Sonata No. 2. For twenty minutes this was pretty much what I call ‘space’ music. I used to play this when I was ten and just wanted to fool around on the keyboard with the pedal down and make weird sounds. I really didn’t like it. It’s like I’ve said before, there is no melody, no rhythm, nothing but harsh sounds all the way through.

So that was the end of the concert, and I was wishing that he would play something I knew for an encore. And he did. He played five encores. The first one sounded like something Rachmaninoff-ish, the second was Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude, the third was Ballade #1 (loved it- he played it perfectly- just my kind of interpretation) the fourth was something that sounded like Chopin, but I didn’t know it. I’ll probably be very embarrassed if I learn that it was, and something that every Chopin-nut should know. The last encore piece was the “raindrop” prelude. So I feel that after all that, I got my money’s worth.

And I did hear three little slips –he’s human after all, and I can’t remember where they were, except for one that was a misplaced “raindrop”. My husband said he didn’t hear any of them. And I always carefully observe how the pros sit at the piano and how they work the pedals. Pollini did something kind of strange with his left foot. He used the soft pedal a lot, very normal-like, but he constantly brought that foot back under the bench even though he needed to use the pedal again in a second or two. Sometimes he just straightened out his leg to touch the pedal but not press down on it, like he was verifying that it was still there. He played on a shiny Steinway with a word that started with ‘F’ written on the side of the piano, but I couldn’t read it. Sounded great though. And for you fashion inquiring minds, he didn't wear a tuxedo. Just a plain dark gray suit with blue shirt and red tie.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


Last edited by pianolady on Wed May 09, 2007 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 7:48 am 
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Quote:

The first half of the program was all Chopin: C-sharp minor prelude...

Which? Op. 28 No. 10, or Op. 45?

I like the one from Op. 28, but it is very short. I love the Op. 45. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:00 am 
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Quote:
Which? Op. 28 No. 10, or Op. 45?


Op. 45. Yes, it is a gorgeous piece; one that rips my heart out every time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:12 pm 
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Ooh, I'm glad I asked, because since you didn't give an opus number, I thought you probably meant the Op. 28 No. 10. I only fell in love with the Op. 45 within this last year, and I just absolutely love playing it. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:20 am 
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I would love to see Pollini one day but I doubt he ever comes to Sweden and Gothenburg. I was through him I first heard the Chopin etudes.

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 Post subject: Re: Maurizio Pollini
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:07 pm 
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I know this is an old thread - but I saw Pollini play a solo concert again yesterday. I was prepared to 'not' write up any review of the concert earlier, because I did not expect to feel motivated enough to do so. But now afterwards, and even this morning, I am still glowing in the aftermath of having been present at such a wonderful concert! Really, I enjoyed it so much that I have a new respect for Pollini.

He played an all-Chopin concert consisting of two nocturnes Op. 27 - my favorite nocturnes, and I still think he takes 27-2 too fast, but oh well, that's my only gripe. Then he played the twenty-four Preludes, Op. 28 - very nice - nothing bothered me at all. Oh, and he's an 'E-natural' guy on the C-minor Prelude (op. 28, no. 20). After intermission came No. 1 Ballade, Scherzo No. 1, and the Op. 25 Etudes.

And as if that was not enough, he then played I think four encores; The Revolutionary Etude, a Mazurka, and two more Scherzos. What a lot of playing! And very good playing too!

He played on his own piano again, a shiny custom-made Steinway, and he wore a black suit, light blue shirt and yellow tie. The one thing that I'm sure everybody in the audience must have noticed, was that he is a very loud breather! My sister and I first thought someone in the audience had fallen asleep and was snoring, but then we realized that it was coming from Pollini. He breathes so loudly from his nose - not sure if he had a cold or what, but at times his breathing was louder than the piano! I know... he's allowed to breathe like that after playing all that difficult music, but it was just little overpowering at times. Still - a great concert! Pollini certainly is not wearing down.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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