The clarity and lineality of these two English Suites by Bach, recorded in October 1985, superficially remind the listener of the manner of Glenn Gould, but the young Pogorelich’s tone is much warmer, his touch less percussive and his ornamentations more discreet. The beauty of these recording is such that it makes one regret all the more that his career stalled before being curtailed apparently for good.
I very much enjoy both Perahia and Feltsman in these suites but both are decidedly more classically "correct" and restrained than Pogorelich's more poetic and rhapsodic style. His technical prowess may be taken for granted: the fluidity of his runs, the wonderful balance between the hands - no irritating leading fractionally ahead of the beat with the left or undue prominence for the melody on the right - his gradation of dynamics - no Band-Aided fingers banging for effect - the graceful rhythmic flexibility which constantly reminds us that this music had its roots in dance. The subtlety and gentleness of his touch on the keys in the more meditative movements such as the Sarabandes are astonishing; he seems to caress the keys.
The Scarlatti, recorded six years later in a slightly harsher, closer acoustic, has not quite the serenity or liquidity of the Bach recital and that suits the perkier, more martial nature of tK.380 and 450 - although the pianist softens his touch to play the Andante K.87 so tenderly that the more clangourous acoustic enhances the mood permitting an aureola of sound to surround the music. The sheer, infectious joyfulness of the concluding K.135 Allegro provides the perfect culmination to a breathtaking disc. Although some may have legitimate doubts about his suitability to Mozart, it remains remarkable that Pogorelich was equally at home in Baroque composers, as per here, as he was in Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Ravel.