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Stravinsky: 3 Dances From Petrushka, Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos.1 & 2

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Customer Reviews

Raw, powerful, and very impressive playing

This was the first recording I'd ever heard of the "Petroushka" movements, and it's still my favorite for the sheer attention to detail and overall very "orchestral" sounds. No other recording of this work so closely mimics the original score with its multitude of orchestral effects. Also, is it just me or does Pollini not miss ONE SINGLE NOTE in what is arguably the least-playable major work ever written for the piano? Perfect, brilliant, utterly stunning, and still, "Petroushka" is the least impressive thing on the disc. I've always expected something just a cut above the rest from Pollini's playing, and he's never disappointed me, but the Bartok recordings here blew me away the first time I heard them and continue to do so each time I hear them. He makes the First Concerto growl at you. It's fierce. It's so percussive and powerful I expected to hear strings breaking. But it's never, even for a moment, "over the top." His sound is never too much. Just when you think you (and especially that poor piano) can't take it any more, you can take a moment to truly listen and appreciate what a clear, pure sound he is able to get. All of this is true of the Second Concerto also, only multiply the difficulty factor by some huge number and that's more accurately representative of what it must be like to play it. Abbado's conducting is spot-on, layered, just like Pollini's playing, with technical perfection, true understanding of the music, a monstrous ability to produce sound, and the Italian finesse that ties everything together so well and makes it sparkle. I'm sure it helped to have one of the best orchestras in the world at his command for this. There is not one thing I don't like about this disc, but there are thousands of things I adore about it. This is truly a remarkable gem for your collection.


Formed: 1891 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Classical

Years Active:

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the three most acclaimed orchestras in America at the end of the century (the others being the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra), and one of the few serious rivals that the New York Philharmonic has had in its long history. Curiously, the histories of the two orchestras are somewhat intermingled. Theodore Thomas had organized and led orchestras in New York during the 1870s and 1880s, competing with the Philharmonic Society of New York...
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Stravinsky: 3 Dances From Petrushka, Bartók: Piano Concertos Nos.1 & 2, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2001

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