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Stravinsky: Three mouvements from Petrushka; Prokofiev: Piano Sonata 7; Webern: Piano Variations; Boulez: Piano Sonata 2


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Product details

  • Performer: Maurizio Pollini
  • Composer: Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Anton Webern, Pierre Boulez
  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B000001GQK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Stravinsky: Three Movements 'Petruschka' - Danse russe. Allegro giusto 2:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Stravinsky: Three Movements 'Petruschka' - Chez Pétrouchka 4:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Stravinsky: Three Movements 'Petruschka' - La semaine grasse. Con Moto - Allegretto - Tempo giusto - Agitato 8:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.7 In B Flat, Op.83 - 1. Allegro inquieto - Andantino - Allegro inquieto - Andantino - Allegro inquieto 7:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.7 In B Flat, Op.83 - 2. Andante caloroso - Poco più animato - Più largamente - un poco agitato - Tempo I 6:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.7 In B Flat, Op.83 - 3. Precipitato 3:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Webern: Piano Variations, Op.27 - 1. Sehr mässig 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Webern: Piano Variations, Op.27 - 2. Sehr schnell0:40£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Webern: Piano Variations, Op.27 - 3. Ruhig, fliessend 3:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Boulez: Piano Sonata No.2 - 1. Extrèmement rapide 6:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Boulez: Piano Sonata No.2 - 2. Lent11:05£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Boulez: Piano Sonata No.2 - 3. Modéré, presque vif 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Boulez: Piano Sonata No.2 - 4. Vif10:12£1.49  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tancredi on 24 Feb 2009
Format: Audio CD
This CD combines two famous vinyl recordings so the price to older collectors is increadibly cheap. The Stravinsky transcription is a breathtaking performance, the Prokofiiev is first rate but I expect fans of this composer would want all three war time sonatas, there is plenty of good versions including Richter.

The other LP was ground breaking, Webern and Boulez , note perfect and treated as music, not of mad men, but lyrical and intense. There are plenty of good recordings of the Webern now, Peter Hill on Naxos springs to mind, but this one of the best. Boulez is a harder nut, I love the later works but have found the early sonatas difficult. Ten playings later I am getting there, its worth perservering and this recording justifies it

So for vituosity and musicianship this is a must have
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patrik Lemberg on 1 Mar 2005
Format: Audio CD
Pollini's performance of these three movements from Stravinsky's Petrouchka and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata no.7 were recorded in 1971, and his performance of Webern's Piano Variations and Boulez's Piano Sonata were recorded in 1976. These recordings were originally released by Deutsche Grammophon on two separate LP records; the first in 1972, and the second in 1978. They have now been refurbished and combined on this 68+ minute disc. One does not have to be familiar with the sound of the original recordings to appreciate Deutsche Grammophon's restoration job; the sound is clear and should be satisfactory to any listener.
I love Stravinsky's own reading of Petrouchka (CSO, 1960) - it was my first introduction to his music, and it is still the recording of the ballet which, for me, is closest to heart, but Pollini's performance on this disc is indeed amazing. It's in a class of its own, and I therefore suggest for people who like Petrouchka to listen to this performance of it, as it will allow new comprehensions of melodic lines that earlier might not have appeared as tangible. The main reason for my having listened to this disc at least 20 times during the last few weeks is because of the Prokofiev tracks; both music and performance are beyond my vocabulary, but I suppose are describable as stunning. This disc has been my first introduction to both Prokofiev's and Boulez's music, and I must say that I favour the music of Prokofiev - it is easily digested in comparison to Webern's and Boulez's music, but the performances here are all impressive; they will not allow you to listen with anything but a keen ear. This has to be one of the most tasteful and thrilling piano-albums of modern classical music. 10/10.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By a nice guy on 27 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
I listened to this CD recently and I feel that it is one of the best piano recordings I have ever heard. The Stravinsky I had previously heard performed by Yefim Bronfman in a good performance, but this one is in a different league. I think it is Pollini's phrasing and notice of articulation - even in some very hairy moments - that is most impressive. Really cool!

The Prokofiev and the Webern are also beautifully played. As for the Boulez, he's a bit of a wet fish and I don't see the point in music like this. Sorry!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Highly praised - highly impressive 12 April 2004
By Patrik Lemberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Pollini's performance of these three movements from Stravinsky's Petrouchka and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata no.7 were recorded in 1971, and his performance of Webern's Piano Variations and Boulez's Piano Sonata were recorded in 1976. These recordings were originally released by Deutsche Grammophon on two separate LP records; the first in 1972 (Stravinsky/Prokofiev,) and the second in 1978 (Webern/Pollini.) They have now been refurbished and combined on this 68+ minute disc. One does not have to be familiar with the sound of the original recordings to appreciate Deutsche Grammophon's restoration job; the sound is clear and should be satisfactory to any listener.
I love Stravinsky's own reading of Petrouchka (CSO, 1960) - it was my first introduction to his music, and it is still the recording of the ballet which, for me, is closest to heart, but Pollini's performance on this disc is indeed in an impressive class of its own, and I therefore suggest for people who like Petrouchka to listen to this performance of it, as it will allow new comprehensions of melodic lines that earlier might not have appeared as tangible. Pollini performs approximately half of the original piece (15 minutes,) and I believe that no more than this has been transcribed for solo piano.
The main reason for my having listened to this disc at least 20 times during the last few weeks is the Prokofiev tracks; both music and performance are beyond my vocabulary, but I suppose are describable as stunning and skillful.
This has been my first introduction to both Prokofiev's and Boulez's music, and I must say that of the two I favor the music of Prokofiev - it is more easily digested in comparison to Webern's and Boulez's music, although all the performances here are impressive; they will not allow you to listen with anything but a keen ear. This has to be one of the most tasteful and thrilling solo piano albums of modern classical music. 10/10.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
One of the all-time great piano recordings 8 Nov 2002
By Bruce Hodges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think it is fair to say that this recording is a classic by any standard. It shows one of the world's greatest - some say *the* greatest - living pianists at the peak of his powers, in repertoire that only the most assured musicians would even dream of playing.
Pollini here tackles four formidable examples of 20th-century music, including what is arguably the disc's showpiece, Stravinsky's "Three Movements from Petrouchka." This CD is worth acquiring for this alone. If you enjoy the orchestral version, hearing it for "just piano" may not initially seem as satisfying, but Pollini's cool brilliance will quickly change your mind. The Prokofiev Seventh Sonata is also a slightly terrifying piece (at least, to those of us who are non-pianists), but again, Pollini races through its difficulties with an almost scary nonchalance. To some pianists I know, this is the finest version of this sonata ever recorded.
The two remaining pieces will be the most daunting for some listeners, but Pollini is as good a salesman as you'll ever hear. The dense, complex Boulez - what an amazing piece! - may seem formidable at first, but becomes clearer with each hearing. If nothing else, it's just so astonishingly difficult that you can't help but be impressed, that any human being could learn to play it at all. And the elegant Webern "Variations," in Pollini's hands, is as glistening as a waterfall.
Highly recommended for devotees of some of the 20th century's most arresting music for the piano, or fans of outstanding piano playing in general. The sound, on DG's "Originals" series, is much closer to the original LP this time around.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of the top piano discs of my collection 22 July 2005
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one amazing disc of piano-playing, one that never ceases to leave my mouth hanging open every time I listen to it. Do yourself a favor if you read music and find a score of the Stravinsky. Follow along as Pollini plays and be amazed, truly amazed.

Amazed not just at the virtuosity, but at how *easy* and effortless he makes it sound. In his hands, it's hard to believe this is *difficult* music, yet the score tells otherwise. This work is so formidable that only a few other pianists have dared tackle it--Gilels, and Horowitz in the first movement only. (A pity, since I would have loved to hear him play the whole thing.) Pollini leaves them all in the dust, with clarity and a directness that's perfect for the work. (Many people say Pollini is a cold and distant interpretor, and I tend to agree, but this apporach served Stravinsky--a man who kept his emotional states out of his music--well.

But Petrushka is just the beginning. The Prokofiev is a stunner. (And listen to how different his color palette is from that of Petrushka!) If it doesn't have quite as much character as Richter, well, that's still a pretty high standard. Once again Pollini rips through it as though it were child's play. I'd maybe prefer a little more of the composer's trademark sardonicism. But the complaint is slight. Kudos also just for the programming on this disc. The Sonata follows Stravinsky perfectly, yet it's of a completely different character. I wonder if Pollini programmed them together in live recitals.

The Webern is an ideal piece for people who say they don't like atonal music. It's a great introduction--short, succinct and relatively easy to follow. Pollini actually finds what to me sounds like lyricism in a place you wouldn't necessarily expect lyricism. The performance builds with great, though subtle, tension, and again Pollini's clarity is ideal for delineating the piece. This is a great way to be introduced to The Second Viennese School, and to Webern.

Finally comes one of the most famous, or infamous, of 20th century piano works, Boulez's Second Sonata. I can't speak knowledgeably about this piece, as I'm still discovering it. But Idil Biret's recording strikes me as "warmer," if you can call something atonal by Boulez warm. And the recent Paavali Jumppanen recording seems to connect the dots better. But such observations should be taken as a grain of salt, for I am, as I said, still learning this strange and extremely complex work.

It's interesting how the works become more abstract and dissonant as the disc goes on. This is not just a terrifically-played piano recording; it's also a study of the decay of Western tonality and the rise of a new music system. It's also one of the most thrilling and unique piano records in DG's entire catalog. Snap it up!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Tasmanian Devil of 20th Century Piano! 25 Nov 2002
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Maurizio Pollini sparkles here with four very different piano fantasies -- Stravinsky's light and carefree "Petrouchka" and Prokofiev's ominous "7th Sonata" (each 15 to 17 minutes long), Webern's enigmatic "Variations," (only 6 minutes long), and finally Boulez's 30-minute "2nd Sonata," a tortured serialist exercise. (Stravinsky + Prokofiev), originally a 1972 LP, and (Webern + Boulez), a 1978 LP, are now combined to create a tour de force of 20th century piano.

Stravinsky's piano arrangement seems to have attracted the most positive comment thus far, and while not disparaging the piece or Pollini's performance in the slightest, I feel I must speak up for the Prokofiev, a modernist masterpiece! The first movement has an ominous mechanical relentlessness, the second movement is deeply sad and introspective, and the third movement is manic and jazzy, superficially quite outgoing and upbeat, yet once again with a mechanical edge. Having heard Richter play the "7th," I'd say Pollini's is at least as good, but don't miss Richter's "8th," paired with Prokofiev's "5th Piano Concerto" on DG.

While the Webern is sublime, the Boulez I cannot love, but only respect. It's an important piece in the development of serialism, so I'm happy to have it, but it's not something I listen to often. Apparently Pollini likes to play the Boulez live back to back with Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" sonata, which the Boulez piece makes reference to -- try it at home with Pollini's legendary Beethoven recording...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of the most electrifying discs of 20th century piano music 10 May 2006
By Shannon W. Mack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, while not for the faint of heart or the hesitant in the world of 20th century music, will reward the listener almost instantly with its visceral excitment and raw energy. Pollini, notorious for playing accurately but without passion or emotion, plays in a perhaps similar vein here, but it works in this repertoire. He executes Boulez's fiendish Second Sonata as though the piano had insulted his mother. This work is decidedly difficult to listen to unless one knows it very well and has an understanding of and sympathy for Boulez's methods. Yet there are moments of beauty in the work, and Pollini maintains a delicate touch and attention to phrasing in the slower sections. His Webern Variations are played with a clear understanding of the structural techniques the composer is using as made evident by Pollini's use of rubato and his highlighting of different voices. Finally, his Petrouchka and Prokofiev Seventh have both achieved legendary status since their initial release. There may be little in the way of Mozartian delicacy, but this is brutal music, and it is given the correct treatment by this most excellent Italian pianist. His sound is full and rarely harsh, sections of fast figures feel like a shower of bullets at times, yet it all contributes to the highest level of raw emotion and excitement. Selections from this disc could easily be used to convert a non-believer into a fan of 20th century classical music.
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