Maurizio Pollini, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado – Schumann & Schoenberg – Piano Concertos (1990)

Composer: Robert Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg

Composition: Piano Concertos

Performers: Maurizio Pollini, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

Released: Deutsche Grammophon / 1990

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The two works included in this album are among the most unlikely of recording combinations, but here they are, under the baton of Claudio Abbado and the BPO, collaborating with Abbado’s bosom friend Pollini.
Abbado has recorded the Schumann Concerto with other artists (notably Maria Joao Pires) under DG. Pollini’s Schumann is as different from Pires’ as difference could be. Whichever way you want it, the Schumann here is a much heavier sounding piece than Pires’s, as well as much more ‘classical’ in style.
The Concerto by Schoenberg, on the other hand, is colourful and full of elan. The orchestral backing is truly wonderful, with the BPO blasting in the absolutely correct moments in full tonal glory. The piano sounds alive and alert the whole time, and the tutti and solo passages blended in exceedingly well. If you have any aversions against Schoenberg, this highly delightful piece would offer a good start in your way of appreciation of this composer’s works. (source: Allmusic)

Maurizio Pollini, piano
Berliner Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado, conductor

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 54
1. I – Allegro affettuoso
2. II – Intermezzo. Andantino grazioso
3. III – Allegro vivace

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 42
4. I – Andante
5. II – Molto allegro
6. III – Adagio
7. IV – Giocoso (moderato) – Stretto

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