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Classical - Released January 1, 1984 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Both sets of Chopin's etudes can be as fiendishly difficult for the performer as they are mesmerizing for the listener, yet Maurizio Pollini makes them sound as if they pose no problems whatsoever for him in this 1972 recording. Every one of the etudes is played with easy precision, energy, and an entirely enjoyable musicality that demonstrates why Chopin's etudes are no mere exercises and are as suited to the recital hall as to the practice room. The Op. 25 No. 5 Etude in E minor has some tricky finger acrobatics in it, but Pollini brings out a singing melody all the same in the middle section, while adding a bit of dancing animation to the outer sections. The melody of the famous Etude No. 3 in E major is lyrical and warm, which highlights precisely the challenge posed by Chopin in these brief pieces: bring out an effective melody while mastering an exact technique through repetition. The recording also shows why Pollini is one of the most respected Chopin interpreters of all time.
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1986 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Solo Piano - Released January 25, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released April 7, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 28, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 4, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott is a performer who appears to care more about the score and the composer than about her image and interpretations. After promoting Lang-Lang, a pianist of maximal technique but debatable taste, DG has given Ott an exclusive recording contract, and her first release, the complete waltzes of Chopin, shows her to be a pianist of taste and restraint. That is not to say that her performances here are ever less than dazzling, because she plays with supreme ease, or any less than affecting, because she brings out everything in the scores, from sparkling wit to darkest melancholy. But Ott is not interested in demonstrating her technique or in grandstanding her interpretations. Everything here is in the score: the tender countermelodies, the long legato phrasing, the exquisite harmonic balances, and the lilting rubato. It sounds fresh and natural because Ott herself seems fresh and natural, and apparently not at all a showoff. Though by no means the greatest performances of the waltzes ever recorded -- Dinu Lipatti's EMI recording is now and likely always will be the most beautiful, the most masterful, and the most moving version of these works -- Ott's recording is well worth hearing by anyone who loves the music. The sound of DG's digital recording is limpid.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 27, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released April 19, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Jan Lisiecki's 2013 Deutsche Grammophon album of Frédéric Chopin's two sets of Études, Opp. 10 and 25, is certainly a bold demonstration of youthful vitality and dynamic virtuosity, but it is also a highly personal interpretation that is surprisingly Romantic in character, if not idiosyncratically so. There's never a worry that he'll miss a note or execute a passage ineptly, for Lisiecki is a fine player who can handle any difficulty these intricate study pieces hold in store. Yet there is always a slight feeling of impending recklessness, as if Lisiecki could turn the music on its head at any moment. Nothing is staid, everything is in motion. After several decades of pianists playing Chopin close to the vest, with a rhythmic regularity and evenness of phrasing that emphasize the Classical impulse, along comes Lisiecki with his flexible dynamics, playful rhythmic teasing, and impulsive expressions, characteristics that are perhaps more suggestive of Liszt's extroverted style than Chopin's introversion. Lisiecki knows that his audience wants bravado and a degree of flamboyance, and these qualities come across fully in his playing here. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is exemplary, with superb clarity and depth.
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Classical - Released November 25, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 6, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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This 2011 box set contains eight complete recordings of the music of Chopin by Maurizio Pollini. Pollini made these for Deutsche Grammophon between 1972 and 2008, covering the solo works of the Romantic, master composer, which is only fitting for a pianist who first gained wide attention after winning the Chopin International Competition in 1960. Pollini is known for his ability to give weight to Chopin's music, but still bring out its lyricism and refined beauty.
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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Even for listeners who have venerated the piano playing of Maurizio Pollini ever since he won the Chopin Competition in 1960, even for listeners who have publicly averred that Pollini is bar none the greatest living Chopin player, even for listeners who have worshipped his recordings of Chopin's etudes, preludes, polonaises, ballades, and scherzos, there has always been a gnawing fear that inevitably Pollini would someday get around to recording Chopin's nocturnes. The fear was that for all his intellectual lucidity -- and no one, not even Alfred Brendel, has his level of brilliance -- and for all his invincible technique -- and no one, not even Martha Argerich, has his super human virtuosity -- Pollini has no heart. There were good reasons for that fear. In the more ardent etudes, in the tenderer preludes, in the moodier polonaises, in the more fervent pages of the ballades, in the rapt central sections of the scherzos, Pollini did sometimes seem cool, possibly overly objective, and probably even too reserved. And as he methodically worked his way through Chopin's piano works, what would happen when someday Pollini invariably got around to the nocturnes, the most passionately sensual, deeply emotional, and profoundly spiritual works Chopin ever composed? With the release of Pollini's Nocturnes in 2005, someday arrived -- and it turned out to be far colder than the worst fears. For all his undeniable brilliance and virtuosity, Pollini cannot begin to comprehend the nocturnes. His playing is astoundingly beautiful with the ideal balance between light and shadow and repose and movement, but his light lacks heat, his shadows lack menace, his repose lacks rapture, and his movement lacks release. For all the beauty of his playing -- and captured in Deutsche Grammophon's translucent sound, his performances are surely among the most beautiful ever recorded -- Pollini's playing here is all surface with no heart, no soul, and no spirit, and even those listeners who rank Pollini as one of the three greatest living pianists will have to acknowledge that his Nocturnes are a terrible mistake.
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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography