This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
The remarkable combination of Pollini, Abbado, and the Berlin PO in the Beethoven five [concertos] was captured live on three discs and issued originally in 1994... In all five 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... The “Emperor” is conveyed by one of the best performances in my memory. Pollini opens the first movement with a controlled rubato that sets the scene for the rest of the movement—actually the rest of the concerto under the Pollini/Abbado architecture. What follows is a heroic sound with great part-writing clarity throughout. The B-Major Adagio movement that follows is extraordinary in its purity and serenity. After the magnificently performed final movement, I relistened to this “Emperor” immediately, not wishing to depart from its spell.
– Burton Rothleder, FANFARE [11/2008, reviewing the
complete Beethoven concertos]
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