Ivo Pogorelich: Chopin

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: Sony Classical

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 64

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 19439 91205-2

19439 91205-2. Ivo Pogorelich: Chopin

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Sonata for Piano No. 3 Fryderyk Chopin, Composer
Ivo Pogorelich, Piano
Fantasie Fryderyk Chopin, Composer
Ivo Pogorelich, Piano
Nocturnes, Movement: No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48/1 Fryderyk Chopin, Composer
Ivo Pogorelich, Piano
Nocturnes, Movement: No. 18 in E, Op. 62/2 Fryderyk Chopin, Composer
Ivo Pogorelich, Piano

Ivo Pogorelich turns to Chopin for his second Sony solo recital, symbolising a return to the scene of his youthful controversies. He remains the provocateur, albeit to more concentrated and purposeful degrees than in his previous Beethoven/Rachmaninov release (10/19).

The pianist opens with two unusually protracted yet convincingly sustained accounts of the Chopin C minor and E major Nocturnes. The F minor Fantasy’s 16-minute duration is four minutes longer than the norm, mainly because Pogorelich transforms the Lento sostenuto section (8'44", bars 199 222) into a largo to end all largos. Yet he takes the Tempo di marcia’s articulations and dynamics on faith, while heightening the drama through careful observation of the semiquaver rests. On the other hand, Pogorelich holds momentum in check by undermining accelerations and shaping sweeping legato phrases in a dry and detached manner.

Listeners expecting steady basic tempos in the B minor Sonata’s first movement will be taken aback by Pogorelich’s extreme metrical leeway and microscopic detail (note to young pianists: don’t imitate his gargantuan ritard before the development section at your next competition!). Yet his wilful approach illuminates the contrapuntal intricacies and generates enormous harmonic tension and release.

While the Scherzo’s outer sections are reasonably winged and supple, I suspect that Pogorelich stretches the Trio to infinity simply because he can. The Largo’s intimate dimensions inflate into a larger-than-life canvas that manages to stay afloat. However, the finale never gets off the ground, due to the pianist’s fussy voicings, phrasings and expressive gestures; the interpretation has atrophied since Pogorelich’s earlier video recording from the Racconigi Castle (DG), which is comparably individual yet more direct and technically superior. Sonic stridency and harshness in loud moments remain as problematic here as in Pogorelich’s first Sony disc.

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