Thursday, July 8, 2010

Arnold Schönberg - Piano Music

Maurizio Pollini is one of my favorite interpretors when it comes to solo piano music. He played Beethoven masterfully; Chopin, he played with a tender sentimentality; Rachmaninoff, Bach, Debussy - all with the deliberate and magnificent skill that comes natural to masters of the art.

Here, he plays Schönberg's complete solo piano music with amazing form. I love these pieces of Modern amazingness and you surely will too.

" The first great pianist to record all of Schoenberg's piano music was Glenn Gould, and if you grew up with Gould's interpretations, then you're in for a shock. In the first place, Pollini actually plays what Schoenberg wrote--Gould freely altered the text in ways that would have driven the composer insane. And then there's the humming--yes, believe it or not, Gould did manage to sing along as he played. Pollini's quieter, less vocal approach conveys much more of what Schoenberg actually wrote, with no sacrifice of expressiveness. And although most of the pieces on this disc are quite short, they are nonetheless important. It was in his piano works that Schoenberg worked out his theories of free atonality and 12-tone composition. So for anyone interested in these critical musical developments, this disc is essential listening. "

Oh yeah... As great of a pianist as he is, I don't recommmend Glenn Gould interpretations of music, he normally adds too much of his own flair to the music and rarely plays pieces as well as, say, Pollini does.



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