Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Maurizio Pollini, Chopin Pianist Extraordinaire

Last year the piano sage blog featured an article: Chopin Piano Competition Winners - Maurizio Pollini Interview. 2012 is the year two legendary pianists Barenboim and Pollini (born 5th January 1942) celebrate their 70th birthday.
Maurizio Pollini Cartoon [srce:toonpool]

In 1960, the Chair of the International Chopin Competition, legendary Artur Rubinstein said of Pollini,  "that boy plays better than any of us Jurors". Pollini was the youngest at the time, age 18 to win the competition.
It was no mean feat too, Pollini beat piano greats Vladimir Ashkenazy and Mituko Uchida to secondary prizes, which is why The Guardian UK newspaper stated 'Pollini has few pianistic peers in the world today.'  

Let's relive the competition by viewing some rare footage of  Pollini at the International Chopin Piano Competition Performing Chopin Prelude d minor op.28 no 24

What's Pollini achieved since winning the Chopin Piano Competition in 1960? Wikipedia highlights some of his accolades and triumphs since:
His first recordings for Deutsche Grammophon in 1971 included Stravinsky's Three Movements from Petrushka and Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata and is still considered a landmark of twentieth century piano discography. Since then he has been one of Deutsche Grammophon's leading pianists. His recording of Chopin's Etudes, Opp. 10 & 25, also under Deutsche Grammophon, won Pollini international acclaim. 
So it's great Pollini wasn't typecast into only performing works by Chopin, let's now hear
Pollini perform Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto (2nd Movement) with Conductor Abbado in Rome, 1967.

Pollini is also an exponent of modern composer Schönberg, especially his Opus 11 and Opus 19 works, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph he says:
 "they are among the works of genius composed in the first half of the 20th century. I like them enormously. I have always liked them. They have remained permanently in my repertoire, and I would like people to appreciate them." 
Pollini Performs Schönberg Op.19, 6 piano pieces

1 comment:

  1. More Maurizio Pollini here: