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Concerto Collection / Maurizio Pollini [8-CD Set]


Release Date: 01/22/2013 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001792602  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartJohannes BrahmsLudwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
Conductor:  Karl BöhmClaudio AbbadoMaurizio Pollini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraBerlin Philharmonic OrchestraVienna State Opera Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 8 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

"In these performances we see why Pollini is one of the world’s greatest pianists. He combines a phenomenal technique with a poetic temperament. Wonderful."
-- BBC Music Magazine

Mozart Concertos no 17 and 21
This disc was released a very long time ago everywhere but in the U.S., and it's very puzzling that Universal took so long to make it available here. The performance of Concerto No. 17 is sensational--as lively and fresh an interpretation as you could ever ask to hear. In the first movement Pollini and the orchestra find themselves in perfect rapport, especially when the Vienna Philharmonic woodwinds
Read more have the chance to engage the solo in dialog. Have Mozart's bassoons ever sounded so witty? Pollini's contribution is a model of stylishness and elegance, and he uses dynamic surprise to heighten the drama very effectively. A suavely cantabile Andante precedes one of the most high-spirited accounts of the variation finale on disc. This is delightful.

Concerto No. 21 is a bit less impressive, though still very good. Pollini remains in excellent form throughout, offering an especially poetic account of the famous slow movement. The accompaniments, however, could do with more punch from the trumpets and drums, so that the military character of the opening movement contrasts more boldly with the Andante, and so that the finale (which really is "vivace assai") has a touch more rhythmic snap. Still, this is very fine by any standard. The engineering picks up a bit of audience noise and even more humming from Pollini himself, but I didn't find it bothersome, and the emphasis on clarity of texture enhances the feeling of convivial music-making among all of the participants. In sum: a joy.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Brahms: Concerto no 1
The only other version of the 1970s to rival [Gilels] is Maurizio Pollini's with the Vienna Philharmonic and Karl Böhm. Where Gilels's first movement was 24 minutes, Pollini's is less than 21 and he shows that it doesn't have to be slow — also, that it can wear another truthful aspect without being hard driven. The eruptions from him and the orchestra are electrifying and they generate an authentic force. But Pollini does take a while to get going. He seems oddly neutral in his first solo, and he trudges through the paragraph introducing the glorious melody of the second subject group, knapsack on his back; I can see why Gramophone colleagues haven't liked the performance more. But as soon as the orchestra takes over this tune something clicks, and Pollini ignites. As we know, when that happens there are few players to touch him. The burnished tone and effortless weight of sound when needed (in the difficult bits as well) are splendid, and the high quality is sustained to the end of the piece. Where the rondo theme returns for the second time in the finale, after the fugato, the playing beggars belief; and the Adagio too is very fine. At the return of the piano's statement of the threnody, joined by horns, cellos and doublebasses, soloist and orchestra build an edifice that puts you in mind of a Bach organ movement.

-- Gramophone [11/1997]

Beethoven: Concertos 1 - 4
"The remarkable combination of Pollini, Abbado, and the Berlin PO in the Beethoven [concertos] was captured live on three discs and issued originally in 1994. In all [four] piano concertos, Abbado and Pollini are in command. The piano concertos are vintage Pollini—cool, clear, powerful, and soft when necessary but unfortunately not sufficiently poetic, yet very appropriate almost everywhere else—where poetry should not be sought. Local phrase-shaping to make for an interesting tour is not often enough Pollini’s way, nor is it Abbado’s. Instead, both Pollini and Abbado shape their sound for the landscape rather than for the individual plantings. Jerry Dubins perceptively observed this about Pollini in his 31:6 review of Pollini’s recording of the op. 2 sonatas. Pollini’s first movement of No. 1 is technically dazzling, very analytical, and cool to the point of seeming, unfortunately, facile at times. His second movement is a beautiful Largo portrait with details always discernable. The final movement is technically marvelous, but not overly distinctive. Abbado shows his typical command of the orchestral details, resulting in a very rewarding performance. The earlier Second Concerto is unpretentious and straightforward, clearly exposing Beethoven’s early genius at part-writing. No. 3 opens and continues throughout the first movement with the strong C-Minor mode that characterizes Beethoven so well. Pollini and Abbado give us a second movement with not only the right notes and dynamics, but also with the essence of this hymn-like movement. C-Minor returns in the final movement songfully, in contrast to the challenge of the first movement bar 111 piano entry. The Fourth...Concerto show[s] Pollini and Abbado at their best. Pollini’s shaped phrases (for a change) and Abbado’s directing of the prominent woodwinds (oboe especially) and of the strings in the first movement of No. 4 are ideal for this lyrical music. The slow movement, where Schnabel and Sargent set the example, follows the Schnabel/Sargent approach without copying it. The result is electrifying. Pollini enters the final movement very quietly to comport with the fading final bars of the second movement."

-- Burton Rothleder, FANFARE [11/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 19 in F major, K 459 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Live  Berlin, Germany 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1858; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1979 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 17 in G major, K 453 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Maurizio Pollini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Maurizio Pollini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Concerto for Piano no 12 in A major, K 414 (385p) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 6/2007 
Venue:  Live  Live Vienna, Austria 
8.
Concerto for Piano no 24 in C minor, K 491 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 6/2007 
Venue:  Live  Live Vienna, Austria 
9.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Length: 37 Minutes 28 Secs. 
10.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793/1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Length: 28 Minutes 45 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Piano no 3 in C minor, Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Length: 35 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12.
Concerto for Piano no 4 in G major, Op. 58 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1992 
Length: 32 Minutes 35 Secs. 
13.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
Period: Classical 
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 1. Allegro - Cadenza: Mozart
Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 2. Adagio
Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 3. Allegro assai
Piano Concerto No.19 in F, K.459: 1. Allegro vivace - Cadenza: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto No.19 in F, K.459: 2. Allegretto
Piano Concerto No.19 in F, K.459: 3. Allegro assai - Cadenza: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83: 1. Allegro non troppo
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83: 2. Allegro appassionato
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83: 3. Andante - Più adagio
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.83: 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto

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