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  • Maurizio Pollini Edition - Schoenberg: The Solo Piano Music, Piano Concerto; Webern: Variations op. 27
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Maurizio Pollini Edition - Schoenberg: The Solo Piano Music, Piano Concerto; Webern: Variations op. 27


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Product Details

  • Performer: Maurizio Pollini
  • Composer: Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern
  • Audio CD (February 11, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00005RRXZ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,870 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 11: No. 1, Massig
2. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 11: No. 2, Massig
3. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 11: No. 3, Bewegt
4. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No. 1, Leicht, zart
5. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No 2, Langsam
6. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No. 3, Sehr langsam
7. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No. 4, Rasch, aber leicht
8. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No. 5, Etwas rasch
9. Little Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 19: No. 6, Sehr langsam
10. Pieces (5) for piano, Op. 23: No. 1, Sehr langsam
11. Pieces (5) for piano, Op. 23: No. 2, Sehr rasch
12. Pieces (5) for piano, Op. 23: No. 3, Langsam
13. Pieces (5) for piano, Op. 23: No. 4, Schwungvoll
14. Pieces (5) for piano, Op. 23: No. 5, Gigue
15. Suite for piano, Op. 25
16. Suite for piano, Op. 25
17. Suite for piano, Op. 25
18. Suite for piano, Op. 25
19. Suite for piano, Op. 25
20. Suite for piano, Op. 25
See all 28 tracks on this disc

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on May 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Schoenberg's solo piano music is small in quantity, but tremendously important in so many respects that an excellent performance is necessary for any listener of 20th century modernism. I would guess, however, that these works would pose a formidable task for the performer. Consider op.11, the three small pieces for piano. This work at last exploded the Western conventions of tonality. At the time, Schoenberg's atonal mode of expression was new and highly intuitive, so traditional interpretational paradigms would probably not serve the musician well. Thus even as the technical difficulties are overcome, the intellectual challenge remains great. Perhaps this is why so few pianists ever tackle twentieth century piano music (among other reasons). Pollini is considered one of the premiere Schoenberg interpreters, and the evidence is strong in his favor. His performance here is emotionally powerful but also cool and calculated. (The idiosyncratic Glenn Gould's performances of Schoenberg's works are also recommended.)

The vestiges of tonality still linger in Schoenberg's op.11, at least in the first two pieces. The third really drove home the possibilities of atonality, though -- the musical argument is evasive to the inattentive listener, and even those of diligent concentration are hard pressed. Schoenberg's end here was to create a more egalitarian music, a radical chromaticism where each tone is important in itself rather than in its relation to the central key. One cannot help but feel the excitement of the composer in these works, something for which pollini must be commended.

It is good that these solo works are presented in chronological order, as it enables the listener to chart the fascinating development of Schoenberg's approach.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Rottenberg on March 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This cd contains what is simply the best recordings of all of Schoenberg's solo piano music and of his Piano Concerto. Pollini is brilliant in establishing this music as the modern decendant of Brahms. Everything sounds completely musical and logical (it makes sense musically--sounds natural). It sounds as if Brahms had lived into the 20th Century. The contribution of Abbado in the performance of the Piano Concerto is not to be overlooked, either. Abbado is probably the finest conductor of the music of the "Second Vienese School," and this performance is no exception. Only Glenn Gould comes close to Pollini in this music, and his (Sony) recording is from the 60's with dry sound. Pollini is much warmer and more musical. A great recording!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By dv_forever on June 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll come out and say it, Schoenberg is not a composer I really care about. I revel in the beauty of Verklarte Nacht but things like Pelleas und Melisande, Gurrelieder, Pierrot Lunaire, Variations for Orchestra, etc. don't appeal to me. Overall, it's Webern who appeals to me in more of his output, not Schoenberg.

But then there is Schoenberg's solo piano music which seems far more personal than the rhetorical works like Variations for Orchestra. Pollini is a master pianist who has been dedicated to modern repertoire all his life, this CD is a testament to his advocacy and understanding of this music.

Apart from the solo piano music, you also get the piano concerto with Abbado leading the Berlin Philharmonic. I am not won over by the Concerto as much as the solo pieces. In this work, Schoenberg being full aware of the great German tradition, tries to fuse the form of the romantic concerto with his own brand of new modern logic. In particular, the Robert Schumann concerto doesn't seem too far from Schoenberg's mind. It's because this harkens back to the old traditional form that many pianists who don't normally explore modern repertoire have come to record the Schoenberg piano concerto. I am thinking of Alfred Brendel and Mitsuko Uchida. Pollini, on the hand, is of course a modern specialist, so this concerto is right up his alley.

For this Pollini Edition re-release, not only do you get the piano concerto as an extra, they also throw in Webern's Variations for solo piano, making this CD a winner on all fronts. Listen to the solo pieces, alone at night and be captured by the unique way that Schoenberg distills the essence of modern alienation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on September 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Pollini plays Schoenberg's piano pieces fantastically. This chronological presentation allows you to hear the progression from the atonal works to the later 12-tone compositions. Adorno held the atonal works to be the highest pinnacle of expression, and it's easy to hear why he was so impressed.

I find it amazing to compare Schoenberg and the painter Kandinsky. They were friends, and participated in a joint revolution across types of art, Schoenberg pushing dissonant chromaticism into outright atonality as Kandinsky did the same with painting, pushing Impressionism's blurring of the object to total abstraction. Then, in the 1920s, Schoenberg developed his 12-tone system as Kandinsky developed a parallel system of abstract forms at Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau.

I strongly prefer Kandinsky's Bauhaus work to his earlier period, while with Schoenberg, I enjoy both. I prefer the earlier atonal piano pieces, but I prefer the serialist string quartets (especially the Fourth -- see my review of the Schoenberg Quartet recordings on Chandos). His "Suite for Piano" and other 12-tone works incorporate a pure, Baroque structure, and mark a phase of consolidation. The earlier works seem to document the dissolution of the ego, and Pollini conveys them as fleeting, fugitive beauty.

*** *** ***

This disc, part of the huge Maurizio Pollini Edition on DG, includes the entire solo piano music, which was previously available in DG's
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