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Chopin: Polonaises


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Audio CD, May 12, 1998
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Chopin: Polonaise No.1 In C Sharp Minor, Op.26 No.1 8:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Chopin: Polonaise No.2 In E Flat Minor, Op.26 No.2 8:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Chopin: Polonaise No.3 In A, Op.40 No.1 - "Military" 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Chopin: Polonaise No.4 In C Minor, Op.40 No.2 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Chopin: Polonaise No.5 In F Sharp Minor, Op.4410:55Album Only
listen  6. Chopin: Polonaise No.6 In A Flat, Op.53 -"Heroic" 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Chopin: Polonaise No.7 In A Flat, Op.61 Polonaise-Fantaisie13:13Album Only

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Biography

Perhaps more of an advocate for contemporary music than any other major pianist essentially rooted in traditional repertory, Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan, Italy. He learned quickly and was given piano lessons from Carlo Lonati from an early age, making his public debut at the age of nine. Enrolling in the Milan Conservatory, he studied with Carlo Vidusso. In 1957 he performed a recital ... Read more in Amazon's Maurizio Pollini Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Chopin: Polonaises + Chopin: 12 Etudes op. 10 / 12 Etudes op. 25 + Chopin: Préludes, Op.28
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Product Details

  • Performer: Maurizio Pollini
  • Composer: Frederic Chopin
  • Audio CD (May 12, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000006NXQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

In contrast to his introspective Mazurkas, the Polonaises display Chopin at his most extroverted.
Carlton II
Pollini far transcends those pianists who believe that Chopin's music is romantic - Chopin never exaggerated anything (as in the normal Romantic Era tradition).
"fkergo"
The 4 minor key polonaises in particular have a demonic ferocity which Pollini makes the most of.
Cheese Messiah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Cheese Messiah on January 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I could not disagree with the opinion of 'a music fan' (see below) more. Unlike, say, the mazurkas, which must be played a clear sense of their unlying dance rhythms, or even the composer's own earlier works in this genre, Chopin's 7 mature Polonaises are epic pianistic tone-poems expressing his Polish nationalism. The 4 minor key polonaises in particular have a demonic ferocity which Pollini makes the most of. His playing of the second Polonaise in Eb minor, with his very rhythmically free opening, is one of the most compelling things I have ever heard. The fourth in c-minor is equally darkly intense.

The two famous major key polonaises are given mighty readings too. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Peyton on July 31, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Pollini's disc of Chopin's polonaises has appeared in Grammophone's and Penguin's cd guides as the definitive recording of these narratives of Polish history, culture, and emotion. In response to a writer's claim that Pollini's tempi varies too much to accompany dancers, I doubt seriously that Chopin envisioned anyone actually doing so to a performance of these pieces. They are much too complex for that purpose. What Pollini offers here is his superlative technique and intense, emphatic, and yes, analytical interpretations. His playing of the eb minor and c minor polonaises is incredibly atmospheric in their ominous openings, but become intense psychological studies which Pollini relates with "magesterial command" (Penguin Guide). Most critics and musicians place the f# minor polonaise as the most demanding interpretavily as well as technically. I cannot say anything other that the pianist is mesmerizing and astounding. One can same the same of his playing of the Ab, the most famous of these pieces. I have lived with this recording for some 20+ years and have studied/played the first four polonaises in undergrad and graduate school and still hear this as a timeless account of these pieces. At times, I do wish Deutsche Grammophon had given him a warmer sound; as with other Pollini recordings, the microphones are close...perhaps too much so. Nevertheless, this is a superlative account of Chopin's polonaises, recollections, musings, and homages to his homeland.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. F. S. Mui on August 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Okay, there are people who think that the entire collection here is laborous to the ears.
That has more to do with the compositions themselves, as well as the sound engineering than with the performances.
The No. 6 Polonaise Op. 53 was recorded on EMI's 1968 recording too. Compare the sound engineering, and an immediate difference surfaces.
As to the performances themselve, actually in this DG collection Pollini opted for a slightly slower and more expansive tempo than in the 1968 EMI recording. But the sound there was much cleaner, much less fuss over the 'vibrato' as does in this DG recording.
While the more vibrant sound in the pianoforte works well in many piano pieces, for an entire collection of heroic outbursts as in Chopin's entire set of Polonaises, arguably some tender ears would find them tiring.
As for the interpretation and performances, I find absolutely nothing in them to fault. Long gone are the salon days for Chopin's masterpieces.
If people long for those willowy stuff, turn to Lang Lang or Yundi Li for contemproary 'fulfilment'.
For the best modern compilation of an entire disc of Chopin Polonaises, this set definitely is of full referential value.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carlton II on November 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Polonaise was a dance that originated in the Polish Court in the Sixteenth Century. Unlike the Mazurka, which had its genesis in the peasantry, the Polonaise was a dance of the nobility. It became a popular compositional format for composers during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and many other composers employed the form in their symphonies, suites or independent works.
It remained for Chopin to transform the genre into massive tone poems evoking the triumphs and trials of his native Poland. For Chopin the Polonaise was a mystical, symbolic and heroic vehicle to express an almost religious reverence for his homeland; and to call attention to its plight. In contrast to his introspective Mazurkas, the Polonaises display Chopin at his most extroverted.

Chopin was a fierce patriot. What he lacked in physical strength, he put to paper. In fact, when one of his students broke a string playing one of his Polonaises, Chopin remarked that if he had the strength, there wouldn't be one string left in the piano after he played the same piece. Therefore, we have an indication of the type of power Chopin desired in the execution of his more vigorous and intense works. Those who believe that Chopin is all about perfume and flowers, are quite mistaken. The greatness of the composer is the power, scope, intensity, originality and diversity of his pieces. His large works require formidable technical athleticism in combination with pure and delicate lyricism.
The Polonaises are no exception. But they require a different mind-set; a different approach. These works represent a very extroverted Chopin; a declamatory Chopin. And that's exactly the Chopin Pollini presents in his magnificent account of these seven gems.
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