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7 Reviews
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really doesn't get any better., 17 May 2005
Here, Pollini - at a tender age of 18 - produced something that is wonderfully powerful, technically flawless and never hints at being gushy or going over the top. The phrasing is just sensational.
Perhaps it's best to read the opinion of others - one Gramophone reviewer proclaims that he doesn't expect to hear the concerto better played in his lifetime.
I really don't know what to say except that this is one of the best recordings of any piece of music I've ever heard. And I've heard a few. This is an utterly essential buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of a 6th star!, 16 Jan 2012
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Why has it taken so long for me to find out this disc existed? Thank you David Mellor for the mention of it in your erudite review on Pollini at 70! I have long enjoyed Pollini's complete set of the Beethoven Piano concertos - reckoned to be one of the best ever - but his Chopin interpretations at the age of 18 (for me at least) enter a new dimension. The digitally remastered recordings are brilliant and Pollini's technique is totally assured and faultless. This is most definitely a 'MUST HAVE' compilation at a bargain price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic recording of this concerto unwithered by age, 12 Nov 2013
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I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This disc offers a compilation of the very famous recording of the first piano concerto from 1960 and a selection of other works recorded in 1968. The latter selection focusses in on four nocturnes followed by the first ballade and the sixth polonaise.

Pollini made the concerto recording just after winning the Chopin competition at just 18 years of age. The combination of technical perfection allied to a sensitive response to the music was, and remains, totally special. At no time does his technical capability become openly apparent as in the case of Horowitz for example and his approach to musical phrasing and expression is almost akin to differences in breathing so constantly subtle are the constant fluctuations. I this he is wonderfully supported by Kletzki's superb conducting which is also special but rarely remarked upon.

The solo works are also well chosen and concentrate on Pollini's clarity and warmth of line. Some of his later recordings came over as cool to the point of being clinical and the technical perfection and objectivity when matched with the showier pieces could seem cold emotionally. None of this applies to these pieces which make for a very satisfying encore to the concerto.

However, it is for the concerto that most will be interested in this disc. many will want to know if the latest remastering has improved on previous editions. The answer, in my opinion, is definitely a yes. There is added clarity, tonal warmth, depth of sound-stage and an overall increased sense of realism in the sound. No-one would begin to guess at the real age of the recordings, so well have they been remastered.

I would suggest that this disc is a very tempting proposition for both newcomers and also for those interested in investing in the latest remastering.

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Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
Keep up the good work!
Thank you (UK review)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 28 Sep 2010
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Just love this cd of Pollini in his youth. Heard him regularly live in the last few years . Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin Piano Concerto 1 - 4, Ballade No 1, Polonaise No 6. Maurizio Pollini, 14 Mar 2014
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Mr. P. H. Gallienne "Peter G" (Channel Isles, UK) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this CD having carefully read various reviews - including those not so highly rating it.
I have to say that Pollini has really Chopin, the performance - especially Polonaise No 6 - which is the reason for buying it in the first place - is really exciting, a superb performance. I wish I could play the piano like that!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Playing with elegance and heart, 24 Feb 2014
Ocassionally, in Pollini's later celebrated Chopin readings for DG I find myself admiring the beautiful playing on display rather than feeling the poetry within the music being released. Travelling back to the young Pollini and this famous recording of the first piano concerto I have no such doubts as this noble reading is vividly, beautifully, projected and remains an essential classic recording of this work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pollini at his (youthful) best, 29 Jan 2014
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levelheaded (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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Marvellous recordings, unfussy and technically assured, unlike the more mannered style he developed later in life.Very good value for money.
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