Ivo Pogorelich

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ivo Pogorelich

Pogorelich played Liszt's Dante sonata and Schumann's Fantasie before the break, then proceeded with Stravinsky's scenes from Petrushka and Brahms' Paganini variations after the break. This is really heavy fare for the best pianists, but at one time I considered Ivo the best of them all. Over the years, he's had his critics, some of whom complained that he hadn't aged well, losing focus in his interpretations and losing his technique as well, in the years since his wife had passed away. So, I tried to approach this recital as unbiased as I could.

 

In short, he still has that burnished tone on the Steinway, which allows him to project all dynamics and a million colours, and make them audible in the farthest corners. And he still has those million colours and touches at his disposal, and uses them all. The Liszt was extremely well done - as varied as I have ever heard it and ending with a great climax. The Schumann started off well, but suffered from quite a number of missed keys. Still the first movement was touching, its slow section played with a disturbing undercurrent that I never noticed before. The second movement didn't go well at all, however - it was loud, choppy, and again too many errors. The third movement was OKish, with some well done parts but overall, Pogo didn't recapture the magic.

 

I should tell you that at this time, while I was fascinated, piano students sitting next to me started shaking their heads in disgust or disappointment, and some of them didn't come back after the break. Which is unfortunate for them, because the Stravinsky found him again on fire, and the Paganini variations were spectacular. 

 

Pogorelich hasn't played from memory for a while now, and he used an assistant to turn the pages. This gave us some unintended comic relief when the page turner couldn't follow the pianist and was late. Pogorelich finally flipped the pages himself and was clearly annoyed. He didn't gave any encores.

 

All in all, a good evening and I felt kind of sorry for all the lame criticisms leveled at him. He's always been a pianist for whom the score is just a starting point and he still is. Maybe his technique isn't as fluid as it once was - but he takes risks and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

 

Cheers,

EJ

Pogorelich?..

I have to admit I have never been convinced about his role as a major pianist of our times. I would put him in this category I call "brilliant mavericks" or, maybe in his case, a brilliant genius (based on Argerich's accolade to him).

Based on the program you describe, EJ, he is really one of a kind pianist. Only the first part constitutes a most daunting task.

I love some of his recordings, but always with some mixed feelings (e.g. Beethoven, Scarlatti). His Chopin is also strange enough with enough liberties too. Sometimes, it made me feel that I hate to love his playing. It made me sense that the score is at the service of his mind...Not the best approach, even for the most brilliant artists. Anyway, I presume it is an honour for any audience to follow what musicians of this unique spirit may perform.

Parla

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018