From the outset of his recording career, Maurizio Pollini has championed modern music – in benchmark accounts of Bartók, Boulez, Manzoni, Nono, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Webern, to which can be added his later recordings of Debussy and Berg. Here are his complete recordings of 20th-century music, brought together on a specially-priced 6-CD set for the first time.
Zandonai’s most popular creation “Francesca da Rimini” was commemorated in Macerata, the provincial capital of the northern Italian region of Marche, in 2004. Massimo Gasparon (former assistant to the celebrated scenographer Pier Luigi Pizzi) was responsible for the direction, set and costumes of this production for the Sferisterio Opera Festival. With its all-star cast including Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato as the passionate lovers (the singers are regarded as two of the leading interpreters of Italian soprano and tenor roles respectively, both hail from Genoa and are in fact also real-life partners) and the baritone Alberto Mastromarino as the ideal “villain”, the production follows in a long line of significant post-war performances of Francesca da Rimini. The Sferisterio – a 4,500-seat arena originally used as a venue for the traditional ballgame gioco del bracciale (a game played with spiked arm protectors and a heavy wooden ball) – was built between 1819 and 1829; since 1921 it has been home to the annual opera festival held in late July/early August. As has come to be associated with staged events in Verona, the representative open-air nature of the performance turns this lavishly costumed production in a historic setting into something out of the ordinary.
Maurizo Pollini, the great concert pianist from Milan, is shown in fine form throughout this 13 CD box set "edition" of his previously released recordings on the Deutsche Gramophone label ( celebrating his 30th year with DG ). The performances were selected by the artist himself and so retain a merit absent in some other types of repackaging "schemes".
This 9-disc set pulls together Chopin recordings made between 1972 and 2008 by Maurizio Pollini. Works included are the etudes, the two familiar sonatas, the ballades, the scherzi, the preludes, the polonaises, and the nocturnes. Please note that this is far from a complete set of Chopin's piano works - missing are the concertos, most of the waltzes, most of the mazurkas, and most of the impromptus.