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Maurizio Pollini

October 4, 2010

Making sense of the music

Pianist Maurizio Pollini says it's his job as a performer to "make the sense clear: the necessity of the notes." Not just to get the notes right or even just to make them expressive or beautiful. He says he has to convince the listener of the rightness of what the composer wrote, so that it sounds as if no other notes could possibly follow. We think Pollini does a convincing job on Mozart's Piano Concerto Number 12, in a performance with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Today's Playlist

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hour 1

  • Felix Blumenfeld
    Etude for the Left Hand Alone, Op. 36
    Pianist Michael Ponti
    Newport Music Festival, Newport, Rhode Island
  • Sir Edward Elgar
    Third movement from Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 82, and "Salut d'Amore," Op. 12
    Violinist Nai-Yuan Hu and pianist John Lenehan
    Newport Music Festival, Newport, Rhode Island
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Piano Concerto No. 12 in A, K. 414
    Pianist and conductor Maurizio Pollini with the Vienna Philharmonic
    Musikverein, Vienna, Austria
  • Enrique Granados
    "El mirar de la Maja" ("The Gaze of the Maja")
    Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and pianist Steven Blier
    Caramoor International Music Festival, Katonah, New York
  • Enrique Granados
    Fourth movement from Trio for violin, cello, and piano, Op. 50, H. 140
    Violinist Jennifer Frautschi, cellist Jiri Barta and pianist Daniel del Pino
    Newport Music Festival, Newport, Rhode Island

hour 2

  • John Adams
    "Short Ride in a Fast Machine"
    The City of Birmingham Symphony with conductor Simon Rattle
  • Joseph Haydn
    Finale from String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 50, No.1
    The Doric String Quartet
    Wigmore Hall, London, England
  • Johannes Brahms
    Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90
    The Berlin Philharmonic with conductor Simon Rattle
    Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany
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