WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Chopin: 4 Ballades, Fantasie Op 49, Prelude Op 45 / Pollini


Release Date: 10/05/1999 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 459683   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 48 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Pollini's Chopin has never sounded better. This may be the greatest, the most exciting of all recordings of the Ballades.

Recently, I heard Maurizio Pollini play Chopin and Beethoven in Symphony Hall. Although I have seen him many times, I was thrilled by what seemed to me to be an added exuberance in his playing. The usual technical perfection was there, the explosiveness and sympathetic understanding of each composer, and the warmth that I have always heard in his playing. He was never, as some prominent critics tried to convince us, coldly intellectual. But here he seemed virtually joyous in his mastery of his instrument and of the pieces he was performing. On leaving, I told my friend that I never expected to hear
Read more the Chopin Preludes played so well again.

That's the kind of playing I find in this new recording of the Chopin Ballades. I am sitting with a stack of discs a foot high with Chopin Ballades done by everyone from Cortot to Rubinstein to Richter, Moravec, Perahia, and Kissin. I have reviewed many of these, and remember writing a glowing review of the Kissin. Right now I believe that Pollini's recording is the greatest, the most exciting, of all. (I hesitate to say that only because I keep coming back to Rubinstein.) Exciting, and yet the Ballade in F Minor, for instance, has the feeling of a gracious improvisation, something unfolding before our eyes that miraculously turns out to be structurally coherent. The Kissin sounds a little planned in comparison. I realize that I am talking about an illusion here. Pollini's effects, his rubato, echo passages, and the moments when he seems to catch fire may be in truth programmed to the last nuance, but they sound so natural that I never find myself thinking about him as a pianist interpreting a work—cleverly or otherwise. I will only add that, after years of making Pollini's piano sound harsh, Deutsche Grammophon has recorded him well.

– Michael Ullman, FANFARE [3/2000]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Ballade for Piano no 1 in G minor, B 66/Op. 23 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1835 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2. Ballade for Piano no 2 in F major/a minor, B 102/Op. 38 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3. Ballade for Piano no 3 in A flat major, B 136/Op. 47 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4. Ballade for Piano no 4 in F minor, B 146/Op. 52 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 55 Secs. 
5. Fantasie for Piano in F minor/A flat major, B 137/Op. 49 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6. Prelude for Piano in C sharp minor, B 141/Op. 45 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Maurizio Pollini (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Herkules-Saal, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Ballade No.1 in G minor, Op.23
Ballade No.2 in F, Op.38
Ballade No.3 in A flat, Op.47
Ballade No.4 in F minor, Op.52
Prélude No.25 in C sharp minor, Op.45
Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook