As the climax of his hugely successful 2018/19 season, in which he celebrated both his sixtieth birthday and the fortieth anniversary of the launch of his sensational career, legendary Croatian pianist Ivo Pogorelich releases an eagerly-anticipated new recording on Sony Classical. This will be his first new album since 1998. The repertoire comprises two sonatas by Beethoven - No. 22, Op. 54, and No. 24, Op. 78 – and a work written just over a hundred years later, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Sonata Op. 36. Pogorelich has chosen these works to explore the profound influence of Beethoven’s revolutionary compositional techniques (which one writer calls ‘specifically pianistic forms of musical thought’) on a later generation of composers. HisRead more uniquely powerful interpretation casts a new light on the understanding of these fascinating, though undeservedly lesser-known, masterpieces. Pogorelich’s career continues with unabated energy and dynamism across all corners of the globe. After a performance at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival this summer, his further recitals and concerts during the 2019/20 season will take him to the principal music centres around Europe and the Far East, including the Berlin Philharmonie, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Centre For The Performing Arts in Beijing, the Santa Cecilia Hall in Rome, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and more. He continues, as ever, to strive for greater self-development and pianistic perfection.
Rachmaninov's Second Sonata, at just under half-an-hour, receives a performance radically broader and more suffering than one he gave in Nüremberg in December 1991 (20:45). He traverses all shades of touch and emotion: a raw, naked narrative, not a little frightening. Pogorelich's deliberated handling of the piano, his re-creative aesthetic, brings to mind Nyiregyházi's manner and tone. Chords roar, octaves jangle, voices tumble into pedalled whirlpools, mantric low B-flats pound and toll. Smiles are few. What glitter there is, is veiled in muslin. Not everyman's Rachmaninov, but strangely fascinating.
WreckmaninoffOctober 16, 2019By David Luck (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"got through the first few measures of Pogo's read of the Rachmaninoff Sonata #2. "Deliberate" is putting it mildly...more like listening to paint dry. And at this plodding pace, a c. 20 minute performance means he must have used Rach's 1931 cut-and-paste so-called "revision" of the majestic 1913 original version: it normally runs c. 17-18 minutes; vs. the original @ c. 24-25 minutes. These days most pianists who "know the score" play the original version not the much later butcher job. Here's the story behind that tragedy: in 1931 Rach was in the depressive phase of his usual bi-polar cycle....when he was most susceptible to being shoved around by those in his circle. His crackpot NY psychoanalyst informed him that "the average attention span of an American audince is 17 minutes", so he went back to his apartment and went to work with the scissors and library paste. Please, pianists, drop the "revised" version of op. 36. Play the original."Report Abuse
IVO is back!October 15, 2019By J. Merriman (North Haven, CT)See All My Reviews"I heard a few of Pogorelich's early CDs when they first came out and I was stunned by the precision, clarity and pure beauty of his playing. While working in London on the early 1980's I heard him play a fabulous recital at Royal Festival Hall followed by a performance of the Prokofiev 3rd Concerto. This man is a genius and was clearly destined to be in the the top ranks of international pianists for many years. Yes, some of his choices of tempo presented challenges to the listener but that factor was part of the adventure of hearing him. Then, as we know, after the tragic death of his wife & teacher, Pogorelich's life crashed and it's taken him years to recover. I've read some horrendous reviews of his concert performances over the last decade but I note that once again he is booked to perform all over the world. This new recording has been receiving mixed reviews too but I have to say after three listenings, I find his playing to be right back at the top level. Are there some questions of tempo? Yes, he has taken different approaches in both works. But the playing overall is utterly fabulous. It shows precision and articulation at the 'Glenn Gould Level'. His overall conceptions of these works are splendid. And BTW, the piano tone and recording quality are also superb. WELCOME BACK Ivo! Keep the recordings coming. And please come and play at Carnegie Hall again."Report Abuse