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Joined: Oct 2019
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Even if his playing were ravishing, the metallic tone of the piano in the forte passages makes it unlistenable. I guess Sony is banking on his legion of fans (and I was a huge one in the 80s-90s) to buy whatever he records. Hard Pass.

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I really like this. ­čĄö

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His tempo, while very slow, doesn't bother me too much. It is actually rather interesting. I will have to agree with Klavierman, however, that the tone of the piano is unbearable. Positively twangy. Ouch.

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The sound engineering in this recording certainly did not present him in the best light.


Soli Chopin gloria
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Here is Pogorelich's F minor Fantasy from the same album



He is making his first US appearance in over 15 years this April in Cincinnati. I'm excited to attend!

I must go as well... It's only 7 hours away.


My gods are: Cortot, Horowitz, and Sofronitsky,

Started piano during COVID, hopefully I can play Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, and Scriabin compositions one day...
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Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Here is Pogorelich's F minor Fantasy from the same album




Being intimately familiar with this piece, and apparently a glutton for punishment, I listened to the entire recording. The opening section was interesting and had a few nice touches (I was hopeful), but once Pogo got into the body of the work strange things began to happen. These morphed into outlandish things, and finally by the very end I started laughing. To the pianist's credit, the "notes" were accurate throughout whenever they were struck (ha ha), but this sure as heck wasn't played in the style of Chopin - or any other legitimate Romantic era composer I can think of. In fact, it's not particularly musical.


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Originally Posted by Carey
....the "notes" were accurate throughout whenever they were struck (ha ha)....

Wry sarcasm noted. ha

I've sometimes said that when you play notes is more important than the notes, and in a performance like this, that's almost true.

Ivo gives us time for dinner and a show between some of the notes....

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Bought the mp3 of this recording for cheap, and had what I would call a fun Pogo moment. I was listening to his slow mvt of the sonata for the first time, and suddenly he makes a VERY long pause, and I was thinking "oh no, this is unacceptable even by the bald Pogo standards, he totally lost it now, I want my money back", until I realized my player app had just crashed and stopped playing. Phew.


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Originally Posted by Rubens
.....until I realized my player app had just crashed and stopped playing.

I don't agree that it 'just' crashed. I think it has good taste in Chopin. ha

For a while we over here were house-sitting a pet frog. The frog tank was right by the TV. I noticed that when baseball was on, he watched steadfastly. Football, not so much. After a while I figured it out: he couldn't stand the bad officiating. grin

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Carey
....the "notes" were accurate throughout whenever they were struck (ha ha)....

Wry sarcasm noted. ha

I've sometimes said that when you play notes is more important than the notes, and in a performance like this, that's almost true.

Ivo gives us time for dinner and a show between some of the notes....

A dinner, a show and a swim. smile


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I find all the criticism. sarcasm, and bashing of Pogorelich very unattractive and tiresome. Many/most think he was at one time a very great pianist, and I assume most of you know he suffered terribly from the death of his wife. Whether this affected his playing or he has just changed his interpretations for other reasons I don't know, but IMO the many mean spirited posts are in poor taste.

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Having listened to the entire recording now, I have to say this is one of my favorite Chopin recordings (!), with the sonata being the highlight. I hear no deterioration in Pogorelich 's performance of it, compared to his earlier performances. Even the tempi in the sonata are not more distorted than they were in his DVD performance from decades ago. The other tracks are not as successful IMO, but still have plenty of great moments. It is a clich├ę to say that Pogorelich promotes himself to the expense of the composer, because of his idiosyncrasies. Personally, I have no objections to a performer's idiosyncrasies if the result honors the composer, and I feel this is the case here. I consider this a true Chopin recording.
My main negative criticism is the sound engineering that lacks warmth, but this was easily dealt with by using an equalizer.


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Here is a video made 2 years ago. The sound is way better than on the Sony (they really messed it up). Tempo wise it is very slow as usual, unequalled by other versions (at least the one I know). But I find it wonderfully played.



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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I find all the criticism. sarcasm, and bashing of Pogorelich very unattractive and tiresome. Many/most think he was at one time a very great pianist, and I assume most of you know he suffered terribly from the death of his wife. Whether this affected his playing or he has just changed his interpretations for other reasons I don't know, but IMO the many mean spirited posts are in poor taste.
Mea culpa. I concur that he once was a very great pianist (I own a few recordings) and I am sympathetic to the man's personal problems and how that might have affected his playing in recent years. However, I don't believe he is so far gone that he doesn't realize what he is doing or how mainstream classical listeners might react to his interpretations. I'd spent the past week listening to several recordings of the Opus 49 by other great pianists and I found this artist's reading of the score to be in a realm of its own (a realm that does not necessarily honor the composer). I feel the initial Opus 48 recording posted here has greater merit despite the slow tempo. Perhaps I should have simply kept my initial reactions to myself, and if my comments were offensive, I apologize.

Last edited by Carey; 02/22/22 12:40 PM.

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I don't share the mea culpa and I don't think you ought to feel any need for it, and certainly no need to apologize.

There's a big difference between insulting someone for personal disturbance, which I would agree is an awful thing to do but which nobody here is doing, and criticizing or even lambasting arguably bad things that are coming from the person, whether artistic or otherwise.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I don't share the mea culpa and I don't think you ought to feel any need for it, and certainly no need to apologize.

There's a big difference between insulting someone for personal disturbance, which I would agree is an awful thing to do but which nobody here is doing, and criticizing or even lambasting arguably bad things that are coming from the person, whether artistic or otherwise.
Some of the posts on this thread were not IMO just ordinary criticism. They were mean spirited, sarcastic, and totally inappropriate. This is especially the case considering Pogorelich was almost universally thought of as a great pianist at least early in his career and has had clear mental anguish from the death of his wife.

There are ways to criticize that do not come off as mean spirited and nasty. The second half of Carey's recent post would be an example. But I think some posters on this thread clearly came across as mean spirited and nasty.

When a great or formerly great pianist records an outlier version of a piece, I think a more intelligent and reasonable response is to really consider if the interpretation makes any sense rather than just immediately dismiss it because it is so different.

I have no idea what you mean by "insulting someone for personal disturbance".

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/22/22 03:18 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
....I think a more intelligent and reasonable response is to really consider if the interpretation makes any sense rather than just immediately dismiss it because it is so different.

What makes you think we didn't?

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I have no idea what you mean by "insulting someone for personal disturbance".

I assume you don't mean that you don't know what it means, but are wondering why I would have said it.
I said it because it seems these posts of yours are as though that's what some of us have done.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Here is a video made 2 years ago. The sound is way better than on the Sony (they really messed it up). Tempo wise it is very slow as usual, unequalled by other versions (at least the one I know). But I find it wonderfully played.


I think this is lovely, he brings out a real sense of improvisation in the music. I can almost see Chopin in the salon, late at night, with his friends reclining nearby.

But, where is the top of his piano??? confused

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Originally Posted by Adagiette
But, where is the top of his piano??? confused


Ha ! Great point. I missed that one. My best guess is that they probably removed the top so that we can see the landscape behind it. That makes a perfect set up.


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While it's without what we might call the extreme outlyingness of those others, I find it extremely "note-y," in large part because of the slowness of the tempo but even within such a tempo, it would have been easily possible for it to be not nearly so note-y.
To me this aspect makes it sound like anything what Chopin could ever have sounded like. To me it's pretty anti-Chopin.

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