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Chopin: Polonaises / Maurizio Pollini


Release Date: 05/12/1998 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 457711   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

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
Read more 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 [2/1999]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Polonaises (2) for Piano, B 90/Op. 26 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834-1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1975 
2.
Polonaises (2) for Piano, Op. 40 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1975 
3.
Polonaise for Piano in A flat major, B 147/Op. 53 "Heroic" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1975 
4.
Polonaise for Piano in F sharp minor, B 135/Op. 44 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 11/1975 
5.
Polonaise-fantaisie for Piano in A flat major, B 159/Op. 61 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1976 

Sound Samples

Polonaise No.1 In C Sharp Minor, Op.26 No.1
Polonaise No.2 In E Flat Minor, Op.26 No.2
Polonaise No.3 In A, Op.40 No.1 - "Military"
Polonaise No.4 In C Minor, Op.40 No.2
Polonaise No.5 In F Sharp Minor, Op.44
Polonaise No.6 In A Flat, Op.53 -"Heroic"
Polonaise No.7 In A Flat, Op.61 Polonaise-Fantaisie

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Wonderfully articulated! May 20, 2012 By Tom  Korbuszewski (Eagle River, AK) See All My Reviews "Mr. Pollini, as I mentioned in the title of this review, wonderfully articulates the "Heroic" polonaise! Just the right rubato, just the right solid chordal passages. He "breathes" through the piece as if singing it. Just the right accentuation. Phrased with just the right pauses and accelerandos." Report Abuse
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