This outstanding recording of the complete Chopin Études by Maurizio Pollini is being published for the first time by Testament.
It was made by EMI at Abbey Road a few months after Pollini had won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Pollini had already recorded for EMI the Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor with the Phiharmonia Orchestra conducted by Paul Kletzki, a recording universally acclaimed as a classic.
Peter Andry, who produced the recording of the Études, later recalled Pollini's play-through of the first set as a spine-tingling experience: 'This was pianism of the very finest kind' he said. 'Rarely had I heard such perfection. He seemed to play these demanding works effortlessly. I remember the occasion even now as one of my greatest musical experiences.' The recording reproduces with striking immediacy and clarity a performance that captures the 18- year-old pianist's sensitive and sympathetic emotional response to these works. It is very different to the large-scale and grandiose DG recording made a decade or so later by Pollini as a more mature artist in a venue with a more reverberant acoustic.
Critics and pianists who have already heard this recording by the young Pollini have all been astonished by its musicality and spontaneity, qualitities that go right to the heart of Chopin's genius in writing these challenging but musically inspired compositions. It is a unique addition to Pollini's extensive recorded catalogue and shows this great artist at the very beginning of his professional career as a musician of the highest calibre.
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