Maurizio Pollini, Piano
Maurizio Pollini, Piano
BRAHMS Three Intermezzos, Op. 117
SCHUMANN Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 14, "Concerto without Orchestra"
CHOPIN Nocturnes, Op. 62
CHOPIN Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, Op. 44
CHOPIN Mazurka in C Minor, Op. 56, No. 3
CHOPIN Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57
CHOPIN Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39
CHOPIN Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23
CHOPIN Etude in A Minor, Op. 25, No. 11
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
At a Glance
This afternoon’s program presents masterpieces from the Romantic piano literature in a variety of genres and moods. The longest work is Schumann’s Third Piano Sonata, a tempestuous epic that projects Romantic passion in its most uncompromising form, with stirring melodies soaring over cascading arpeggios and a fast-flying, nearly unplayable finale. The starkest piece is Chopin’s Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, a free-form hybrid that Liszt described as a bad dream ending in a “convulsive shudder.” The perfumed elegance of Chopin’s Nocturnes, Op. 62, and the hypnotic refinement of his Berceuse in D-flat Major are a striking contrast. Like the latter, Brahms’s Op. 117 Intermezzos are lullabies for adults, misty and ambiguous, but also intimate and beguiling. The program closes with Chopin’s Scherzo No. 3, a tour de force that is at once bleak and sumptuous, with some of Chopin’s most orchestral piano writing.
The name of Maurizio Pollini evokes the story of an internationally renowned artist, prized by critics and audiences across several generations and in every corner of the globe.
For more than 40 years, Mr. Pollini has performed with celebrated conductors and orchestras in all the major European, American, and Japanese concert halls and festivals. He has been awarded many of classical music’s highest honors, including the Vienna Philharmonic Ring of Honor, Salzburg’s Golden Medal, Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, A Life for Music–Arthur Rubinstein Prize, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize, Tokyo’s Praemium Imperiale, Royal Philharmonic Society Award, and the Complutense University of Madrid’s Laurea Honoris Causa.
In 1995, Mr. Pollini opened Tokyo’s Pierre Boulez Music Festival with Boulez in attendance. That same year, the Salzburg Festival invited Mr. Pollini to present his own cycle of concerts, for which he devised a program of works drawing from different epochs and styles; in 1999, he was invited back to create another concert program. From 1999 through 2006, Mr. Pollini performed new concert cycles in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Switzerland, Milan, Berlin, and Vienna, with programs that mirrored his wide musical tastes, including both chamber and orchestral performances, from Gesualdo and Monteverdi to contemporary composers.
Mr. Pollini’s repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary composers (including premiere performances of works by Luigi Nono, Giacomo Manzoni, and Salvatore Sciarrino) and includes the complete Beethoven sonatas, which he has performed in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, London, Vienna, and Paris. He has recorded works from the Classical, Romantic, and contemporary repertoire to worldwide critical acclaim. His recordings of the complete works for piano by Schoenberg, and of works by Berg, Webern, Manzoni, Nono, Boulez, and Stockhausen are a testament to his great passion for music of the 20th century. His album of Chopin nocturnes earned him many honors, including the ECHO Klassik, Choc de la Musique, Victoires de la Musique, Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Grammy Award, and Disco d’Oro.
In recognition of his 75th birthday, Deutsche Grammophon released Pollini’s complete recordings, comprising more than 55 CDs and three bonus DVDs. Included in the collection are his early interpretations of works by Boulez, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and others, as well as his complete cycle of the Beethoven sonatas and 2017 ECHO Klassik–winning album of Chopin’s late works. Mr. Pollini released a recording of Debussy’s Préludes, Books I and II, on Deutsche Grammophone in November 2018. A new album featuring Chopin’s opp. 55–58 was released on the label in January 2019.