Maurizio Pollini – Chopin: Polonaises (1976) [2019, Japan, Remastered, Hi-Res SACD Rip]

Maurizio Pollini - Chopin: Polonaises (1976) [2019, Japan, Remastered, Hi-Res SACD Rip]

Maurizio Pollini – Chopin: Polonaises (1976) [2019, Japan, Remastered, Hi-Res SACD Rip]
SACD-ISO / DSD / 1bit / 2.8224MHz
DSF-Tracks / DSD / 1bit / 2.8224MHz
FLAC Tracks / 24bit / 88.2kHz
Total Size: 1.41 GB (DSF) + 0.97 GB (FLAC) + 2.54 GB (ISO)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon / Esoteric | Japan | Cat#: ESSG-90208 | Genre: Classical

Here is Pollini in all his early glory, in performances expertly transferred from 1976. Shorn of all virtuoso compromise or indulgence, the majestic force of his command is indissolubly integrated with the seriousness of his heroic impulse. Never have I been compelled into such awareness of the underlying malaise beneath the outward and nationalist defiance of the Polonaises. The tension and menace at the start of No. 2 are almost palpable, its storming and disconsolate continuation made a true mirror of Poland’s clouded history. The C minor Polonaise’s denouement, too, emerges with a chilling sense of finality, and Pollini’s way with the pounding audacity commencing at 3’00” in the epic F sharp minor Polonaise is like some ruthless prophecy of every percussive, anti-lyrical gesture to come. At 7’59” Chopin’s flame-throwing interjections are volcanic indeed, and if there is ample poetic delicacy and compensation (notably in the Polonaise-fantaisie, always among Chopin’s most profoundly speculative masterpieces), it is the more elemental side of his genius, his ‘canons’ rather than ‘flowers’ that are made to sear and haunt the memory.

To say that Pollini is ‘cold’ (a recent jury colleague; his exact description seemed to me as blinkered as it was unprintable) is to miss the point, to show an incapacity to identify with ‘other points of view’, with possibilities that lie at the very heart of re-creation. Others may be more outwardly beguiling (Pollini is already a wide step from Rubinstein’s belle epoque elegance or Horowitz’s reminder of Russian romantic pianism at its most volatile) but Pollini’s magnificently unsettling Chopin can be as imperious and unarguable as any on record. That his performances are also deeply moving is a tribute to his unique status.’ ―

01. Polonaise in C sharp minor, Op.26 No.1 – 08:21
02. Polonaise in E flat minor, Op.26 No.2 – 08:31
03. Polonaise in A major, Op.40 No.1 ‘Military’ – 05:21
04. Polonaise in C minor, Op.40 No.2 – 08:00
05. Polonaise in F sharp minor, Op.44 – 10:48
06. Polonaise in A flat major, Op.53 ‘Heroic’ – 07:02
07. Polonaise in A flat major, Op.61 ‘Polonaise-Fantaisie’ – 13:06



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