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Piano Concerto No 1

F. Chopin Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B003YCRY14
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro maestoso- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster)
2. II. Romanze (Larghetto)- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster)
3. III. Rondo (Vivace)- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 (2001 Digital Remaster)
4. Nocturne No.4 in F, Op.15 No.1 (2001 Digital Remaster)
5. Nocturne No.5 in F sharp, Op.15 No.2 (2001 Digital Remaster)
6. Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1 (2001 Digital Remaster)
7. Nocturne in D flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2 (2001 Digital Remaster)
8. Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (2001 Digital Remaster)
9. Polonaise No. 6 in A flat 'Heroic' Op. 53 (2001 Digital Remaster)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This disc offers a compilation of the very famous recording of the first piano concerto from 1960 and a selection of other works recorded in 1968. The latter selection focusses in on four nocturnes followed by the first ballade and the sixth polonaise.

Pollini made the concerto recording just after winning the Chopin competition at just 18 years of age. The combination of technical perfection allied to a sensitive response to the music was, and remains, totally special. At no time does his technical capability become openly apparent as in the case of Horowitz for example and his approach to musical phrasing and expression is almost akin to differences in breathing so constantly subtle are the constant fluctuations. I this he is wonderfully supported by Kletzki's superb conducting which is also special but rarely remarked upon.

The solo works are also well chosen and concentrate on Pollini's clarity and warmth of line. Some of his later recordings came over as cool to the point of being clinical and the technical perfection and objectivity when matched with the showier pieces could seem cold emotionally. None of this applies to these pieces which make for a very satisfying encore to the concerto.

However, it is for the concerto that most will be interested in this disc. many will want to know if the latest remastering has improved on previous editions. The answer, in my opinion, is definitely a yes. There is added clarity, tonal warmth, depth of sound-stage and an overall increased sense of realism in the sound. No-one would begin to guess at the real age of the recordings, so well have they been remastered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The young Maurizio Pollini exploded on to the classical music scene in 1960 with this outstanding and moving account of Chopin's Piano Concerto #1, which has since attained legendary status.

That golden period of classical music was crowded with stellar piano virtuosi who were already internationally renowned for their technique, musical individuality, and decades of Chopin recitals: Rubinstein, Horowitz, Arrau, Weissenberg, and Richter are towering examples. All these artists commanded not just respect, but reverence.

Yet, Pollini made a name for himself when he won the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1960, at the age of 18. Rubinstein himself, one of the judges at that competition, is reputed to have declared "This boy can play the piano better than any of us". Pollini made this recording shortly after winning that competition.

Pollini put the world on notice with this performance.

In the first movement Pollini confidently displays a perfect balance between muscular power and balletic agility - magically spontaneous in its effect. He is greatly aided by the subtle and balanced accompaniment of conductor Paul Kletzki and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Everything blends and melds so wonderfully, and the orchestral nuances truly contribute to the special nature of this performance.

In the second movement, Pollini's playing is poetic, tender, and deft. His choices of rubato in the gently lilting melodies seem perfectly judged - and again the accompaniment by Kletzki et al is in complete sympathy. Listen to the woodwind accompaniment - just the right audible level and warmth in counterpoint with the soloist. And Kletzki does not let the music drag, which might otherwise kill the momentum of a romantic slow movement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "classic" plain and simple April 3, 2013
Format:Audio CD
My Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines "classic" as "a work of the first rank, esp. one of demonstrably enduring quality; an artistic production considered a standard; a work that is honored as definitive in its field; something noteworthy of its kind and worth remembering; one that is considered to be highly prestigious or the most important of its kind." One might easily apply all of those meanings to Maurizio Pollini's 1960 EMI recording of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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