BARTÓK Piano Concert.1+2 Pollini Abbado 4776353
. . . Pollini's rhythmic control and virtuosity are stupendous . . . these performances are very powerfully projected and have the benefit of Abbado and the Chicago orchestra on stunning form. As an intelligent coupling DG has added the "Two Portraits", Op. 5, played by Shlomo Mintz with Abbado and the LSO.
Bartók and Pollini were made for one another -- the bite and energy and odd restraint of these masterworks is ideally caught. Mintz does full justice to the "Two Portraits".
These 1977 performances are cool, elegant, and brilliant; Pollini's playing is stunning, and the Chicago Symphony is on its best behavior, with an unmatched clarity that is abetted by the gorgeously clean DG recording. A highlight is the Adagio-Presto-Adagio movement of the Second Concerto; the Adagios have never been so eerily calm, the Presto so perfectly executed.
... apabullante virtuosismo ...