Maurizio Pollini Carnegie Hall
Last time I heard Pollini had to be more than 20 years ago, and I most remember his clean playing and the Nono piece with tape. I bought my tickets early and had great expectations for this recital. One week ago he played the Schumann piano concerto in NY with the BSO, to great critical acclaim.
Coinciding with Andras Schiff’s ongoing Beethoven cycle, the first half was all-Beethoven. The opening “Tempest” was played in much the same fastidious manner as the “Appasionata”, though the latter was more successful. Pollini’s commanding sense of structure was much the same as always. The strong left hand produced waves after waves of luxurious sound. On top of this solid foundation the right hand chants, though never really fully broke into song, as we are used to (at least) in the Adagio of the “Tempest”. Pollini has never been one to wear his heart on his sleeve, but one was able to detect a fine emotion and a sense of breathing behind the controlled façade. But fully singing, no.
After intermission, he played an excellent Fantasy in C by Schumann, somewhat more burnished and darker in hue than the excellent youthful DG account. Following were pristinely played Chopin, the 4 Op 33 mazurkas and the Scherzo #2. The applause afterwards was tumultuous, earning 4 encores of Chopin in return. Read the NY Times review.