POLLINI & ABBADO Complete DG Recordings 4821358
. . . [a] fine compilation . . .
. . . [an] incredible, simply DIVINE 8 CD box-set . . .
. . . [Beethoven]: These are all exuberant, festive performances that should excite even the most blasé listener. The body of sound is astounding. The same qualities apply in spades to the two Brahms concertos . . . The final CD has their brilliantly articulate versions of Bartók's first and second piano concertos . . . it's pretty unlikely that a seasoned listener would not be captivated and drawn to listen to every note of the above collection. These recordings belong on the shelf of everyone who has a CD player . . .
. . . [this set] will be a mandatory acquisition for many . . . [Pollini's] poetic inclinations just happen to be happily wed to a technique second to none in the piano world, and his astounding recordings have easily held up . . . To start with, the Beethoven Concertos are rightly regarded as one of the best sets available . . . Concerto No. 4 is particularly glamorous in this set, but none of the readings can be dismissed . . . [the Brahms "First" concerto, from 1997 with the Berlin Philharmonic,] is an outstanding recording by any set of standards you wish to suppose -- big, muscular, and radiantly sublime . . . [the 1977 "Second", with the Vienna Philharmonic] remains one of the great recordings of the work . . . some jewels and quartz both appear in this set, but for the price it is rather hard to resist considering the jewels.
. . . most of these recordings show both pianist and conductor at their very best . . . we find superlative Bartók from Chicago, and a fine Choral Fantasia (Beethoven) from Vienna. As I wrote previously, the Brahms Second Concerto -- also from Vienna and set down in 1976 -- may be one of the finest documents of these artists working together, and is easily the better of the two accounts found in this box.
. . . these recordings show both pianist and conductor at their very best . . . And so we find superlative Bartók from Chicago, and a fine "Choral Fantasia" (Beethoven) from Vienna . . . [the Brahms Second Concerto from 1976] may be one of the finest documents of these artists working together . . . Abbado proves a sensitive and intelligent accompanist . . . Pollini plays objectively; with a somewhat hard sound that pinpoints the music's classicism . . . his Schoenberg Concerto is quite fine, and the Nono is an unusual work that is very well done.