Maurizio Pollini (Born: January 5, 1942 – Milan, Italy):
The famous Italian pianist and conductor, Maurizio Pollini, was born in Milan. His father was the architect Gino Pollini, one of the leading representatives of Italian rationalism and also an expert violinist. His mother, Renata Melotti, studied piano and singing and was the sister of the well-known sculptor Fausto Melotti, who had a lasting influence on the young Pollini. Maurizio Pollini, a precocious child, received his first piano lessons in 1948 from Carlo Lonati. He made his debut at 9. From 1955 to 1959 he continued his studies with Carlo Vidusso at the Milan Conservatory and in 1958 he began to study composition with Bruno Bettinelli. After sharing 2nd prize at the Geneva Competition in 1958, he took his diploma in piano at the Milan Conservatory in 1959. He also studied with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. In 1960 he was awarded the first prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and appeared at La Scala, Milan, playing Frédéric Chopin’s First Piano Concerto under Sergiu Celibidache.
Since then Maurizio Pollini has become one of the most admired and respected pianists of our time and has appeared all over the world with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist. In later years, he made appearances as a conductor, leading concerts from the keyboard and also mounting the podium and taking charge in the opera pit.
Maurizio Pollini is a foremost master of the keyboard. He has won deserved renown for making his phenomenal technical resources a means of exploring a vast repertoire, ranging from J.S. Bach to the cosmopolitan avant-garde. He is particularly renowned for his innovative concert programmes, which champion works by contemporary composers, and contrasts these with those of the Classical and Romantic eras. (bach-cantatas.com)
And here´s one of his many albums with music from Frédéric Chopin:
Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.”
Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries (including Robert Schumann). In 1835, Chopin obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin (known by her pen name, George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39, probably of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis.
All of Chopin’s compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument: his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of the instrumental ballade. His major piano works also include mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, études, impromptus, scherzos, preludes and sonatas, some published only posthumously. Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, and the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, harmony, and musical form, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period.
Chopin’s music, his status as one of music’s earliest superstars, his (indirect) association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. (by wikipedia)
Enjoy this very special and often very intimate piano music !
Maurizio Pollini (piano)
01. Polonaise No. 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 44 / 10.32
02. Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1 / 4.31
03. Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2 / 5.35
04. Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 / 8.57
05. Nocturne No. 4 in F major, Op. 15 No. 1 / 4.07
06. Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2 / 3.25
07. Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53 “Heroic” / 6.55
Music composed by Frédéric Chopin