Chopin: Polonaises, Op. 26/1 & 2, Op. 40/1 & 2, Op. 44 & Op. 53; Polonaise-fantaisie, Op. 61

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COMPOSERS: Chopin
LABELS: DG Originals
WORKS: Polonaises, Op. 26/1 & 2, Op. 40/1 & 2, Op. 44 & Op. 53; Polonaise-fantaisie, Op. 61
PERFORMER: Maurizio Pollini (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 457 711-2 ADD Reissue (1976)
This disc contains the seven polonaises published during Chopin’s lifetime. Pollini’s recording, made in the mid-Seventies, has been widely praised in the past, and certainly there is no denying the magisterial quality of the playing itself. It is true, too, that the severity of Pollini’s style suits the austere character of these pieces very well, yet it is difficult not to feel at times that the music cries out for greater warmth, variety of tone colour – and, indeed, large-scale shaping. There is, ultimately, a lack of mystery about some of these performances, and DG’s shallow, over-bright recording does little to help. Misha Donat

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