This is an extraordinary concert, and this DVD is packed with cornucopia of music - it probably should be watched one opus per evening or per time, because Bach's English Suites alone would drain the listener with their superhuman intensity, beauty and complexity of counterpoint, and infinitely more than words can describe.
Pogorelich playing is to match the unsurpassed quality of the music, and I wonder what Bach's critic would say if he had heard this playing. To illuminate the point, here is a story:
In 1737, Johann Adolf Scheibe, a maestro and writer on music, criticized Bach's manner of composition (Der Critische Musicus, Hamburg, May 14, 1737):
"By now Herr Bach is the most distinguished musician in Leipzig.. . His dexterity (on the organ) is astounding, and it is hard to believe that it is possible for him to cross and extend his fingers and his feet so strangely and so nimbly, making the broadest jumps without playing a single wrong tone, or distorting his body by such energetic movement.
This great man would be the object of admiration for entire nations, if he possessed more pleasantness and if he did not remove every natural element from his pieces through their bombastic and muddled nature, obscuring their beauty through an over-abundance of art. Because he judges according to his own fingers, his pieces are extremely difficult to play; for he demands that the singers and instrumentalists reproduce through their throats and instruments whatever he can play on the clavier.
But this is completely impossible. All ornaments, all little embellishments, and everything that one understands to belong to the method of playing, he expresses with actual notes; this deprives his pieces not only of the beauty of harmony, but also makes the singing quite difficult to listen to."
We are fortunate and privileged to hear this overabundance of art - "too many notes, my dear Mozart" comes to mind from 60 years later, spoken to another genius. Yet it is amazing that this music indeed can be played by a human - and very few pianists attempt to play English and French suites. Each part Pogorelich plays with such attention and detail - his tempi are astonishing, and he is a virtuoso with both Courante and Sarabande - from Allegro to Lento he is fantastic.
I adored his Scarlatti, but could not play my favorite trick by comparing him with Horowitz - these Scarlatti Sonatas seem not to be ever played by Horowitz! Pogorelich is an undisputed Maestro nonetheless, playing with breathtaking virtuosity.
This concert is a whole constellation of stars, and will make your musical nights starry.