Posts Tagged ‘Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka’

Pogorelich Soldiers On

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Ivo Pogorelich

Published: March 16, 2015

MUNICH — Ivo Pogorelich wants to continue to play. He has recital programs planned out till 2020. He keeps several concertos in his repertory, the Chopin F-Minor and Prokofiev Third performed here persuasively in recent seasons. He is “pleased,” he writes, about a new box of his old CDs, and he returns to the recording studio “this year” for “Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Balakirev.” Trouble is, the comfort zone has shrunk, and the technique, while still prodigious, suffers momentary ruptures, often of meter or rhythm. He has been as a result trashed by The New York Times (“interpretively perverse”) and, last month, London critics. But he shows a samurai’s perseverance.

Yesterday morning at the Prinz-Regenten-Theater, the pearly tones, grace and authority that have always distinguished his playing were much in evidence. Liszt’s Dante Sonata (1849) emerged in deliberate, pensive blocks, each relating to context and not without tension. A sumptuous dissection followed of Schumann’s C-Major Fantasie (1838). Its Mäßig, durchaus energisch movement, taut and powerfully executed, caused an eruption of applause and an acknowledging pianist’s smile. This distanced the third movement, helping cast it as a sequence of reflections, also beautifully traced. After the break, however, the tall Croatian failed to summon the virtuosity required of Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka (1921), producing only maddening shreds. To conclude he brought handsome character to the majority of Brahms’s Paganini Variations (1863), albeit with further rhythmic jolts. Scores were open throughout this recital, presented by 50-year-old Bell’Arte. There was nothing mannered (or perverse) about the playing. Indeed the impression was of a quest for truth in each score, hindered only by some undisclosed debility or disquiet.

Photo © Alfonso Batalla

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