Title - 'Beethoven Sonatas Opp 31 & 49'
Artist - Maurizio Pollini
Italian classical pianist Maurizio Pollini was born in Milan to the Italian rationalist architect Gino Pollini, who has been said to have been the first to bring Modernist architecture to Italy in the 1930s. Pollini studied piano first with Carlo Lonati, until the age of 13, then with Carlo Vidusso, until he was 18.
He received a diploma from the Milan Conservatory and won both the International Ettore Pozzoli Piano Competition in Seregno (Italy) in 1959 and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1960. Indeed, Arthur Rubinstein, who led the jury, declared Pollini the winner of the competition, allegedly saying: "that boy can play the piano better than any of us."
Proven to be correct, for Pollini's first recordings for Deutsche Grammophon in 1971 - included Stravinsky's Trois mouvements de Petrouchka and Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata - and are still considered a landmark of twentieth century piano discography. Since then he has been one of Deutsche Grammophon's leading pianists, and deservedly so.
Here on Beethoven Sonatas Opp 31 & 49, Pollini has released a stunning new recording of Beethoven piano sonatas. The piano sonatas are central to Beethoven's oeuvre. As a composer and virtuoso pianist himself, he wrote works for the instrument from the beginning to the end of his career, so a cycle of the piano sonatas gives an almost unparalleled insight into his development as a composer and as a master of the instrument.
Listening to Pollini play, you instantly note that there is an abundant joy behind his piano playing. Indeed, the seemingly consummate ease and freedom of his mastery is beyond a doubt, of that we all know, but his playing here on this new album provides us the vision of a performer whose vibrant energy levels are still flying high. A man whose musical imagination is still as in tact as it was back when he was a young boy first being discovered, Pollini's Beethoven Sonatas Opp 31 & 49 is a true treasure trove of piano majesty to be delved into; by one and all.