8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Pogorelich's incredibly fast and sensitive rendition of English Suites is in class of its own. More unforgettably impressive is the way he plays slow movements of the both suites with exquisite tonal nuances and meditative poise. The original CD release did not include Scarlatti Sonatas, but had more natural sound. This remastering sounds too brightly lit on higher notes. He should have recorded all six Suites!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2001
WOW! What a performer, what a recording - what a lot of notes!
This young virtuoso gives a lean, muscular interpretation of these keyboard masterpieces. They are a revelation. His technique is faultless.
The sense of anticipation, forward motion and energy is astonishing.
The inclusion of 4 Scarlatti sonatas, works I adore but interpreted in a 'modern' manner that initially surprised me, is a real bonus.
I listened to "Pogorelich's" Scarlatti with attention, as if one had come across a new taste and wasn't sure if one liked it or not.
BUY THIS CD!
on 15 March 2014
This is an example of Ivo Pogorelich at his genius best. The first movement of Bach second English Suite is a fine illustration of this great pianist's capacity to interpret Bach's harpsichord conception with convincing effectiveness on the piano. His playing is a model of clarity, detached yet sonorous, with a beautiful sense of the music's lyricism. I can only think that Bach (and Scarlatti too) would adore these performances for their sheer musicality. I also wanted to say "sheer virtuosity" , because they are too incredible achievements pianistically. But the fact is, listening to this disc, you end up just admiring the music, loving it indeed. Pogorelich draws all the attention to the works themselves, not to his remarkable fingers. Overall, it's an enormous achievement - of genuinly great pianism at the service of wonderfully written music. It's well recorded, and as I say, Pogorelich at his endearing, exciting and early best.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2012
This is a quite amazing recording. The production is first class. But before we back-pat the sound engineer we should doff our hat to the pianist. His playing is of the G Gould mould, only better because of his sensibility. The Canadian - who I hold in high regard - sounds strangely one dimensional in comparison. Totally unaffected performances, these are (don't pay attention to anyone who tells you Pogorelich's playing is always affected). A lot of dirt has been thrown on Pogorelich for his unorthodoxies. But much of it is so obviously hot air, blown by people who want to sound clued up on the subject of authenticity. You need to have tin ears not to hear sheer class in his renditions of both of these contemporaries. They are finely nuanced, they're dramatic, they're eerily precise and absolutely engrossing to listen to. You will hear the bass lines (oops, a rock'n'roll terminology) in such unheard of clarity that you will be struck and fascinated by the whole logicality of the baroque. I'm not a pianist so i don't know how faithful all this is to the score. But, ultimately, I don't care. I can tell when music moves me (and when it does not) and this one does that, in no small measure. Also, if you share my attitude, i suggest you avail yourself of his Brahms too. It's been much maligned by the reviewers, and with such persistent and hysterical meanness, that you should recognise it as a sign of something remarkable - and buy it. Anyway, IMHO, both are gems.
on 15 June 2014
Ivo Pogorekich was quite young when he made this recording. You would never think so. His clarity of playing is unsurpassable, every note, and I mean every note, having its own meaning. And the interpretation is beautifully baroque, Pogorelich does not fall into the trap of so many pianists who play Bach and his contemporaries as if the music were written in the 19th and not the 18th century. This álbum is a must for all lovers of Bach, and/or Scarlatti. And for all lovers of good piano music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2013
The record to rescue if your house is burning down, or to include in your list if you get invited to "Desert Island Discs"!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2010
I have listened to and played a lot of Bach on the piano, but this recording of these wonderful English Suites was a revelation when I first heard it: swift, smooth, superb control of dynamics that brings out everything that is going on, not much pedal but a lot of delicate staccato played softly at speed so that it is not dry or percussive but full of life and drive. For me it is unquestionably the best Bach piano recording ever. The same applies to the Scarlatti sonatas, and Pogorelich has recorded a whole CD of these sonatas that is also, in my experience, far and and away the best recording available of these. The only question is, why hasn't Pogorelich recorded more in this area?