Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

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Lance
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Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by Lance » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:05 pm

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First new DGG Beethoven cycle since the 1980s.

Any takers for this?
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barney
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by barney » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:44 pm

yes.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by barney » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:47 pm

And now a fuller answer. I really like this collection. It is rare to get a cycle that takes 40 years to complete, and fascinating to try to follow his interpretive development. I compared him to Richter in his integrity and refusal to compromise. I think it is a masterly cycle. It will not be my first port of call, usually - for example, if I am introducing one of the sonatas to someone who hasn't heard it, where I might turn to to Kempff or Gilels - but I will visit it often.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by John F » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Pollini played the cycle at Carnegie Hall some years ago. It's remarkable to hear a pianist dash off the Hammerklavier Sonata as if there were nothing to it, but interpretively I thought his playing was pretty neutral - especially compared with Brendel who played the Beethoven cycle here at about the same time. So I wouldn't see the point of buying the Pollini set.
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by Lance » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:57 pm

It's a no for me, too.

Strange, of all the so-called "great" pianists in the world, I probably have the very least amount of Pollini. I much more enjoyed his artistry in the early days when he recorded for EMI. Testament issued an EMI recording of all 24 Etudes when Pollini was a mere 18 ... recorded just months after he won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. I thought his Schumann recordings for DGG were just so-so in terms of capturing the greatness of Schumann and the emotional content of the major Schumann works. Altogether, I only have representation of Pollini on 19 CDs. Where the concerted works are concerned, I was more interested in the conductors than the pianist. And so it goes. For many, Pollini is and remains a master pianist and I would otherwise surely not take anything away from the man who has been delighting his audiences for many years.

I can, however, understand Barney's idea about being interested in traversing a 40-year-undertaking of these Beethoven sonatas by Pollini.
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by slofstra » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:09 pm

His 'Waldstein' recording is one of my favourite Beethoven sonata recordings. I detect a little more dance in his playing than the more crystalline Brendel or Kempff. I'd put him in league with Arrau stylistically speaking.
I would consider this purchase, but I have to see the price.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by slofstra » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:13 pm

Canadian Stewart Goodyear has released a Beethoven sonata cycle to pretty good reviews. Apparently released in 2012 I've just learned about it recently.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by premont » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:40 am

slofstra wrote: I'd put him in league with Arrau stylistically speaking.
Oh no, Arrau is much more expressive.
John F´s word "neutral" about Pollini is just spot on.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by josé echenique » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:47 pm

The 1977 Hammerklavier is commanding and deserves a place among the finest, I´m less enthusiastic about his late Beethoven, but the DG Schubert sonatas are very good by any standard.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:29 pm

I really like his 1970s recording of the Late Sonatas on DGG, but find most of his other Beethoven recordings to be very uninvolving. There's something characterless about much of the playing. That works well in some repertoire, but not here.

I would count myself an admirer of Pollini, but his approach is all wrong for middle period Beethoven in particular.
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by Lance » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:40 pm

I find most of his playing unemotional. John Francis got it right when he said "neutral." Good word.
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by maestrob » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:45 pm

Neutral is a good word in this context. I'll be passing on this one as well.

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by Lance » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:18 am

The set is actually being offered at a bargain price. Still, not for moi.
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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by arepo » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:07 am

josé echenique wrote:The 1977 Hammerklavier is commanding and deserves a place among the finest, I´m less enthusiastic about his late Beethoven, but the DG Schubert sonatas are very good by any standard.
I agree on this interpretation , which is the most beautiful I've ever heard of this sonata. Very special, indeed. I have Pollini's 32 and it ranks very high overall.

cliftwood

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Re: Pollini's Beethoven 32 - yes or no?

Post by Lance » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:33 am

Just as a matter of interest, have you ever heard the Westminster recording (now on DGG) of Egon Petri's performance of the Hammerklavier? For me, (even in mono sound) was one of the most powerful I have ever heard. He was truly an extraordinary pianist.
arepo wrote:
josé echenique wrote:The 1977 Hammerklavier is commanding and deserves a place among the finest, I´m less enthusiastic about his late Beethoven, but the DG Schubert sonatas are very good by any standard.
I agree on this interpretation , which is the most beautiful I've ever heard of this sonata. Very special, indeed. I have Pollini's 32 and it ranks very high overall.

cliftwood
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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