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Chopin: Nocturnes / Maurizio Pollini


Release Date: 04/11/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 4775718   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This album received the 2007 Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (without Orchestra)."

3010760.az_CHOPIN_Nocturnes

CHOPIN Nocturnes Maurizio Pollini (pn) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5718 (2 CDs: 90:31)


With his fully affecting Chopin readings marked by subtle gestures that command dramatic implications, Pollini is not only one of our greatest living Chopin interpreters but one of a handful whose playing seems truly twined with the composer’s intentions. His Deutsche Grammophon sets of polonaises (1975) and etudes (1972) represent core recordings in a discography lined up and down with classic discs, just a couple examples of Pollini’s contribution to the high-water marks of the Chopin canon. So it’s with some surprise that, after so many Chopin-centric releases and performances, this two-disc set represents Pollini’s first recording of the 19 nocturnes published during Chopin’s lifetime.


Pianists, of course, have long been drawn to these pieces, haunting works that, for all of their insistence on form, function as artistic templates, a vaporous music beset of a poetry of dark clouds shifting in the night, upon which many variations of mood can be projected. For a better sense of Pollini’s nocturnes, or any pianist’s—and insight into what I consider the generous interpretive freedom innate in much of Chopin’s work—we might look to Claudio Arrau’s handling of these same pieces on his Philips set from 1997, or Rubinstein’s acclaimed mid-1960s RCA “benchmark” nocturnes, two sterling choices with worlds between them, which reveal much about the nature of nocturnes: Arrau’s faultless charm, the essence of Romanticism’s soft glow, and Rubinstein’s autumnal grace, night pieces, indeed, flecked with wintry anticipation, life passages. Seen as a multi-artist interpretative phenomenon—the nocturne catalogue, that is—Chopin’s night works are sustained by the most individualistic approaches, when the infusion of the personal disorders our sense of how these pieces should sound. And so we come to Pollini and his place in the long history of these bewitching works.


Much can be made of a performer who—decades into his career, an illustrious musical journey beginning to wind down—comes to record his first set of nocturnes. Could it be that there is some life stage we all eventually arrive at—or those most fortunate among us—that renders one better suited, perhaps properly evolved, to hear this music as it truly is, such that Chopin’s sad, haunting knowledge can not so easily be lost on us, as maybe was the case in younger days? Quite apart from ruminations on knowledge and life’s processes, Pollini’s absolute command is consuming, nerve-sensitive acoustics picking up each subtle gradation and revealing the nocturnes at their richest—lush, but bold. Consider, for example, the gentle bounce of the popular Nocturne No. 2, op. 9, Pollini’s antiphonal sway given just enough sonic emphasis that the music feels to first lap and then retreat, sure and then unsure—in a word, human. Nocturne No. 1, op. 27, is another widely cherished Chopin composition, and here, for me, is the essence of Pollini’s nocturnes, an ostensible mood piece as unfolding drama—from the calculated vibration of sustained notes at the outset, to the blanketing skein that descends upon the piece as the mood appears to brighten, only to once again darken with languorous pulse beats, the melody almost distended, triumphant note clusters then taking up the cause and ringing in the dawn. Even night itself is curtailed in an instance of art blooming in its appropriate moment in time.


FANFARE: Colin Fleming
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturne for Piano in E minor, B 19/Op. 72 no 1 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 1 in B flat minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, B 54/Op. 9: no 3 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 1 in F major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
6.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 2 in F sharp major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830-1831; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
7.
Nocturnes (3) for Piano, Op. 15: no 3 in G minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor, B 91 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
9.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 2 in D flat major, B 96 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
10.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 106/Op. 32: no 1 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
11.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 106/Op. 32: no 2 in A flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
12.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 37: no 1 in G minor, B 119 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 37: no 2 in G major, B 127 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
14.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 142/Op. 48: no 1 in C minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
15.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 142/Op. 48: no 2 in F sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
16.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55: no 1 in F minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
17.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 152/Op. 55: no 2 in E flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
18.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62: no 1 in B major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
19.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, B 161/Op. 62: no 2 in E major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Hercules Hall, Münich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Nocturne No.1 in B flat minor, Op.9 No.1
Nocturne No.2 in E flat, Op.9 No.2
Nocturne No.3 in B, Op.9 No.3
Nocturne No.4 in F, Op.15 No.1
Nocturne No.5 in F sharp, Op.15 No.2
Nocturne No.6 in G minor, Op.15 No.3
Nocturne No.7 in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.1
Nocturne No.8 in D flat, Op.27 No.2
Nocturne No.9 in B, Op.32 No.1
Nocturne No.10 in A flat, Op.32 No.2
Nocturne No.11 in G minor, Op.37 No.1
Nocturne No.12 in G, Op.37 No.2
Nocturne No.13 in C minor, Op.48 No.1
Nocturne No.14 in F sharp minor, Op.48 No.2
Nocturne No.15 in F minor, Op.55 No.1
Nocturne No.16 in E flat, Op.55 No.2
Nocturne No.17 in B, Op.62 No.1
Nocturne No.18 in E, Op.62 No.2
Nocturne No.19 in E minor, Op.72 No.1

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Background noise October 29, 2014 By Roger G. (Brooklyn, NY) See All My Reviews "What ruins this collection of Chopin is that the transcendance of the playing is constantly interrupted by the sound of the performer inhaling and exhaling. It's as bad as someone coughing constantly at the opera. I'm amazed the sound engineers didn't remove this highly distracting noise. Glenn Gould humming while playing Bach is one thing, but Pollini's loud breathing makes this unlistenable. It's a real shame, because the performance is spectacular." Report Abuse
 chopin February 12, 2014 By e. gosek See All My Reviews "ok" Report Abuse
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