Magazine article Gramophone

Penultimate Disc in Pollini's Beethoven Sonata Cycle

Magazine article Gramophone

Penultimate Disc in Pollini's Beethoven Sonata Cycle

Article excerpt

Beethoven

Piano Sonatas--No 4, Op 7; No 9, Op 14 No 1; No 10, Op 14 No 2; No 11, Op 22

Maurizio Pollini pf

DG [F] 477 8806GH (73' x DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In Beethoven's Op 7 Sonata, Maurizio Pollini pounces on the composer's Allegro molto e con brio directive with joyful momentum. No less intensity marks both the meditative lyricism and the agitated outbursts of the Largo. Pollini's one-beat-to-a-bar treatment allows the third movement to take wing, abetted by clear dynamic distinctions and well-shaped imitative writing. At times, however, he telegraphs the Rondo's sudden sforzandos, while the tersely phrased embellishments may seem insufficiently grazioso.

Both of the Op 14 sonatas receive an energetic and flexible reading. The E major's Allegretto is unusually brisk and businesslike, even when the tender C major Trio section kicks in. By contrast, the pianist's superb articulation of the G major's central Andante's detached chords and cross-rhythmic accentuation underlines the music's proximity to Haydn, and he also brings out the Rondo's syncopations to playful, rabble-rousing effect. …

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