On pourra préférer Lupu dans certaines sonates, Serkin ailleurs, ou d'autres encore (Richter si vous y tenez, quoique'), le choix ne manque pas, et abondance de biens ne nuit pas quand il s'agit de tels chefs-d'œuvre. Avec Pollini, on réalise simplement que Schubert, s'il a longtemps été intimidé, voire écrasé par le fantôme de Beethoven, a fini par s'en délivrer dans un ultime sursaut. Bien sûr, certaines phrases sonnent "comme" du Beethoven, mais dernière manière, et même au-delà. Etrange passage de relais entre ces deux artistes que tout sépare, hormis Vienne - écoutez comme Schubert danse, sa gravité, sa lenteur, le poids de sa démarche. Pollini se soucie comme d'une guigne de jouer le pianoforte que Schubert aurait connu. Il laboure, éperonne, martèle un énorme Steinway et ce son d'outre-tombe surprendra les puristes. Les autres, dont je suis, applaudiront la fluidité de certains passages, ce caractère liquide, ce perpetuum mobile que seul peut traduire un piano moderne - et dieu sait si Schubert aura défriché dans ce domaine si moderne et longtemps si décrié du répétitif. Car il faut parfois écouter Schubert comme un raja indien, s'abîmer dans une quasi hypnose, et là encore, Pollini marque des points en ne variant jamais, en ne cédant jamais à la tentation expressive, mais au contraire en menant le discours de A à Z tel que Schubert l'a écrit, sans fioriture ni aménagement. Oui, on est à l'opposé de Richter, justement. La partition, rien que la partition, mais avec quel soin, quel amour et quelle dévotion. J'ai longtemps sous-estimé Pollini, le trouvant froid. Mais sous cette armure de glace couve un feu sacré.
Quand j'ai reçu ce coffret j'étais curieux de connaitre l'interprétation de Pollini que je peux tantot admiré ,comme pour ces concertos de Beethoven avec Jochum, ou parfois trouvé ennuyeux et meme à coté de l'oeuvre,comme certains opus de Chopin et à certaines époques. Là ,et meme si je suis un fervent admirateur de Serkin,je dois dire que Pollini est sublime.Il imprime beaucoup de ferveur à ces sonates,il les laisse respirer d'elles memes en leur accordant tout le respect qu'il faut leur témoigner.Pollini joue avec les silences,les tempi sont respectés à la lettre et il s'en dégage une vie unique et tempéré par toutes les couleurs de la palette Schubertienne,bref Magnifique!
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97 internautes sur 101 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Immaculate, Beautiful Performances13 octobre 2005
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I had heard these recordings a few times before in the 1980s, when they were first released, but then they dropped out of my sight and I went back to Kempff and Brendel and on to Uchida and Perahia when it came to these sonatas. I love these works so much and I also appreciate DG's remastered re-releases of their most highly regarded recordings, so I decided to go for yet another copy of Schubert's "last three." What a fortunate re-release this is. Coming back to Pollini's interpretations after listening to many others, I'm struck by how Pollini stands alone for the supreme clarity of his passage articulation and his masterful grasp of extended, complex and potentially formless works (think of his Schumann, his late Beethoven, the Liszt and Chopin sonatas, and his recording of Schubert's D. 845 sonata) over which lesser pianists often lose control.
A brief comparison with other interpretations of these sonatas. Brendel, Perahia and Pollini are all quite similar in that they take a lean, spare and unembellished approach to the D. 960, as opposed to Kempff, Richter and Uchida, who bring out the sonata's more spacious and sonorous qualities and make so much of the silences between the sonata's many mood changes. For a while I was completely smitten with Uchida's recording, but lately I've gone cold on it. It has the tendency to wax a little too poetic and to be somewhat self-conscious. I have the impression that Uchida feels burdened by the effort to make every note and every passage ring with profundity; eventually the first two movements collapse under the accumulated weight she heaps upon them. Richter to my mind is even more culpable in this respect (his first movement clocks in at about 26 minutes if my memory serves, while Uchida comes in at about 23 and change. Perahia, Pollini and Kempff manage it in about 18-20, while Brendel foregoes the repeat and his first movement is about 12-13 minutes long). Brendel does a magnificent job with the D. 960, but I've come to appreciate the first movement repeat that almost everyone else who records this sonata observes. Pollini therefore supplants him here, but what really stands out is the emphasis Pollini gives to what Schubert was doing with the bass clef. The recording really brings out the left hand complexities of the composition (beyond the foreboding trills) in the first and second movements, while the clean purity of his playing gives the second movement all the transcendent, dreamy qualities that are so abundant in the Kempff recording, albeit in a different manner. As for the third and fourth movements, Pollini's control is just a wonder. It's always eay to overlook these movements because of the overwhelming nature of the first two, but Pollini made me sit up and pay attention in a way I never have with the other interpretations. Perahia is excellent too, but strangely enough (since Pollini is often the one accused of remoteness and over-objectivity), there seems to be something absent from Perahia's recording of a piece that seems to rest on its many emotional intangibles. It's fine--flawless actually--in respect to its architecture and pacing, but there seems to be nothing remarkable about it regarding the emotions it evokes. So here Pollini and Kempff take the honors.
Pollini is also magnificent with the D. 959. Pollini goes here for a lean, mean, stripped-down-to-essentials Schubert, taking a Beethovenian approach that successfully highlights the many dramatic contrasts without any over-exaggeration or over-emphasis. To my mind no one surpasses Brendel's perfectly modulated and more measured interpretation; suffice to say though that Pollini is a clear and close second, and that many might prefer his approach to that of Brendel. I like both and will always own both. Although excellent and flawlessly executed, Perahia takes this tricky sonata just a little too briskly for my taste; Kempff takes it a little too easily and there's too much of a drop off in the level of tension that threads its way through the first two movements; and Uchida makes a complete hash of the slow movement.
If Brendel is the D. 959 sine non qua, he has for me always sounded a tad too brittle in bringing off D. 958, and here both Perahia and Pollini are more successful. The Perahia recording is more thick-textured than that of Pollini, and again I just have to go with the fact that Pollini manages the diffcult task of coupling absolute technical perfection with a deep understanding of these sonatas' other-worldly, emotionally ambiguous qualities.
There's definitely some Pollini out there that I am not fond of; his interpretations of early and middle-period Beethoven and the Diabelli Variations immediately come to mind. Anything from the '70s and '80s is golden though, and taken overall, this is the best 2-CD set of Schubert's late sonatas out there (it also includes the Allegretto and the late Klavierstucke). It will bring endless satisfactions and joys.
32 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
glorious music in magisterial performances2 février 2006
Ian K. Hughes
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Maurizio Pollini is in fine form throughout these exemplary, magisterial, performances of Franz Schubert's "late" piano sonatas: C Minor (D 958), A Major (D 959), B Flat Major (D 960). As the excellent liner notes (Paolo Petazzi) accompanying the original (1987) Deutsche Grammophon release indicate, Schubert did most of his work on these pieces in September of 1828 (just after completing his famous String Quintet), clearly intended to form a single collection.
The virtues that are unique to Pollini: supreme technical facility, fastidious attention to form (shape and coherence of piece as a whole), scrupulous study of various editions of score, concert performances years in advance of recording- all come into play in these renditions of Schubert's glorious and darkly complex music.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Pollini at his peak, and now in better sound4 janvier 2008
Santa Fe Listener
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DG went through a period of nasty sound in the early digital era, and no one suffered more than Pollini, largely because the piano brought out the edgy, glassy quality of digital. To my ears this Originals reissue of his classic Schubert sonata performances has solved all the preceding problems, winding up with warm, easy-on-the-ears sound. (Amazon'a price is surely a mistake, though -- this is a midline reissue, and they are charging considerably more than full price). So even if you own these two CDs separately, you may find it worthwhile to replace your old copies.
As for the performances, Pollini was never better than in these poised Schubert readings, defining the composer's piano music with as much personality and depth as Richter did. Of course, the two pianists are almost polar opposites, in that Pollini dazzles with technical command, approaching the music more objectively than Richter, who hardly lets a bar go by without feeling it in his own way. But by no means is Pollini cold; the great thing he's done here is to grasp the 'emotional intangibles' of Schubert's deceptively simple keyboard writing (to borrow a phrase from a reviewer below). By comparison, Brendel seems rather colorless and bland, Perahia balanced but rather faceless. In short, Pollini's are my favorite recordings of all three sonatas.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Beautiful Schubert in an entirely different way.25 mai 2009
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To some listeners, the sound of Pollini's is 'cold', or 'icy'. That surmise would not even be made if the listener does not in fact loath the pure sounds that 'should' come from the pianoforte as an instrument. What Pollini achieves in his pianism is to enable the piano to sound beautiful in the way that it could and should. There were and are many Schubert specialists around - Kempff, Lupu, Uchida, Brendel, Pires...you name them. Each approaches the music of Schubert in his/her own way, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to pass objective judgments on each's playing. Ultimately, it is the likes and dislikes of the listener himself that rules. For me, Kempff's early and middle sonatas are greatness itself. Haskil has a great D960 recorded in 1955 that recently came out in a archive live recording. Then, Lupu's Impromptus achieved the status of greatness in a more or less salon style of interpretation. For Pollini's Schubert, it is greatness in quite another sense. The ultra pure touching (often alleged as being 'icy') of Pollini in fact suits Schubert to a 'T'. The last great sonatas here rank among the most profound ever heard on recording. There is almost a complete self-effacement of the pianist when it comes to his interpretation that makes Pollini a great performer of most of his repertoire. It is no exception with his Schubert. You would not hear Pollini playing Schubert - it is an almost 'objective' presentation of Schubert's works in a purely musical and transcendental way that produced a result of other-wordliness that is both stunning and totally captivating. You simply want to play the pieces over and over and over again upon the first listening. This is nothing but artistry in the highest order.
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Benchmarking performances of these works7 mai 2009
A. F. S. Mui
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I could not have agreed more with the review of Mr. Smith here, encompassing the performances of Kempff, Brendel, Perahia and Uchida. Actually, I have not much to supplement that wonderfully comprehensive review. So perhaps just a few words on the highly unjustified allegation of Pollini's `coldness'. If ever a pianist understands Schubert's lyricism, Pollini would undoubtedly be placed in the forefront. For long, Wilhelm Kempff's Schubert sonatas led the field of exalted performances. And Maurizio Pollini had not even made a complete recording (or may be even performances) of Schubert's piano sonatas. Even so, Pollini's reading of these late Sonatas of Schubert clearly leads the field, ranging from Kempff's to the recent ones by Leif Ove Andsnes. The latter's late Schubert Sonatas were coupled with the composer's lieders in their original releases. However, for a direct reference of Schubert's cantabile qualities in his sonatas to his vocal works, Pollini's renditions are the ones to beat. Andsnes has a good grasp of Schubert's works, but his tone is colder, far less refined, and not nearly as ethereal as Pollini's. Ultimately, one still hears a certain amount of ponderosity in Andsnes's performance that should not belong to Schubert. Not so with Pollini. `Loud' is loud; a relative concept, and never ponderous. For those who has a diehard view of Pollini as being `cold' or glacial, either they have not heard enough of Pollini, or never bothered to acknowledge how multi-faceted this maestro actually is.