[f_minor] Maurizio Pollini?

Jörgen Lundmark jorgen.lundmark at sundsvall.nu
Wed Aug 18 11:55:38 EDT 2010

Hello Robert & all,

Pollini is definitely one of the great pianists around, even though I 
prefer him in other repertoire than Bach (Perahia is more to my liking, 
but I don't think he has recorded the WTC). Pollini is amazing in 
repertoire such as Bartok's first and second concert (a classic 
recording with Abbado and the Chicago SO) and an equally transcendant 
solo disk with "Petrushka", a Boulez sonata and Prokofiev's 7th. I 
haven't listened to his WTC very carefully, but I wasn't impressed with 
what I heard. It sounded stiff and boring. My brother, who is a pianist 
and collects recordings of the first book, was very critical. Not even 
the pianistic aspect of the interpretation got his approval. If anyone 
wants a totally different WTC then try Feinberg's rich, romantic 
approach or perhaps Koroliov's extremely well-played version. Koroliov's 
DVD with the "Goldbergs" and his studio recording of "Die Kunst der 
Fuge" are amazing.

As to the previous Tureck thread, I have to disagree somewhat. She is 
amazing in her ability to bring out the counterpoint; she might even 
excel Gould on this point. However Gould is able to bring DIFFERENT 
character to each voice, which in my experience makes him unique in 
piano history. Also, Gould swings! Definitely not a Tureck trait. In the 
above context I would recommend Tureck's WTC, the studio 1950s recording 
has less vitality but more pronounced clarity of lines than the live 
version out on BBC Legends. I can't agree that her Goldberg is that 
interesting; rather boring in my opinion. This goes for anything with 
dance movements in it. Same with Sviatoslav Richter: very interesting in 
the p&f's not so good in the suites. My opinion anyway.

As far as temperament goes, I actually find Wanda Landowska closer to 
Gould's playing. There is a romantic core to both artists' Bach. Her WTC 
is unfortunately not among her best recordings since it belong to her 
later efforts. Instead, try her "Goldbergs", the "Chromatic fantasy" or 
some Scarlatti. Landowska, to my knowledge, never recorded Bach on the 
piano, but there are some excellent Mozart concerti with her as a pianist.


> Grazie Michael! You just made a sale!
> Jörgen also sent me an opinion of Pollini -- hey Jörgen, it's not 
> really OT, post it to the List!
> Bob
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* michael macelletti <mailto:mmacelletti at sbcglobal.net>
>     *To:* Robert Merkin <mailto:bobmerk at earthlink.net> ; Discussion of
>     the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. <mailto:f_minor at glenngould.org>
>     ; gail paynter <mailto:gmadoodat at hotmail.com>
>     *Sent:* Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:15 PM
>     *Subject:* Re: [f_minor] Maurizio Pollini?
>     bob, you have just mentioned one of the great ringers. absolutely
>     astounding pianist. i remember his first recording , the chopin
>     first, after he had just won the chopin competition in '60, i
>     believe. he has the most noticeably liquid, effortless and
>     gorgeous sound you'll ever hear. never ever harsh, tasteless or
>     incompetently showy like so many.   he made his judges look sick,
>     i'm afraid.  and he's still around, thank god. 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From:* Robert Merkin <bobmerk at earthlink.net
>     <mailto:bobmerk at earthlink.net>>
>     *To:* Discussion of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
>     <f_minor at glenngould.org>
>     *Sent:* Tue, August 17, 2010 2:34:23 PM
>     *Subject:* [f_minor] Maurizio Pollini?
>     J & R
>     <http://www.jr.com/category/classical/n/4294939529/?JRSource=chemail.classicalMusic.08172010> is
>     trying to hose the contents of my wallet with a big classical
>     music CD sale, and one CD wooing me is Book 1, The Well-Tempered
>     Clavier by Maurizio Pollini. Anybody have opinions about
>     Signore Pollini, or his Bach?
>     Bob

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