Winning Chopin’s Piano Competition in 1960 Maurizio Pollini has an opportunity to instantly became a prodigy of world’s piano artistry. After Warsaw triumph he played Chopin’s Concerto E Minor in La Scala with Sergiu Celibidache. But he was still very young, so he focused on developing his technical and musical skills under supervision of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. In sixties he increasingly performed contemporary music. His succesive appearances in London and Berlin (1963) were important but it was his debut in Carnegie Hall Nov. 1st, 1968 became the second turning point in his career. Next year he recorded his first album for Deutsche Grammophon with Three Movements from Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Prokofiev’s Sonata No 7.
Fourteen years after he won Grand Prix in Chopin’s Competition, 1975 Maurizio Pollini recorded in studio complete cycle of Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op. 28. It was his second Chopin album for Polydor and the Deutsche Grammophon label (2530550) and in the series of recordings published with clear intention to contain complete composer’s output. Before Preludes Pollini recorded Etudes (1972) and after this the same company issued Polonaises (1976) Sonata B-flat Minor (1986), Ballades (1999) and Nocturnes (2005). In 1976 LP edition of 24 Preludes played by Maurizio Pollini has been awarded Grand Prix du disque in Paris.
Despite his unquestionable art of sound he is still proceeding the perfection in creating his modern vision of reading historical works and attempted to balance of intellect and emotions in ideal musical interpretation. Perfect articulation and time discipline were the basis for whole series of absolute performances. He was one of the very few artists who were equally good in carrying out music of past and presenting deeply intellectual interpretations of contemporary works. Thus he became well known and esteemed performer of wide spectrum of piano music by Chopin as well as Stockhausen. One of highly appreciated and awarded recordings was Complete Piano Works by Arnold Schoenberg (1975 for DGG, Gran premio del disco „Ritmo”).
In conversation with Carsten Dürer, the editor in chief of PIANONews, Maurizio Pollini pointed the „incomprehensible greatness of the Preludes: each of them has its own character, and yet as a cycle they are inconceivably self-contained in terms of their overall message”. In 1960 Pollini gave well balanced performance in Warsaw which was live-recorded and published 20 years later. In the 1975 recording every piece of the cycle has been perfectly set as an element of the bigger whole and simultaneously closed in it’s individual form and character. Every phrase and every note serve as vehicle for emotions much deeper than pure exaltation. Pollini’s rendition of 24 Preludes is the phenomenon comparable in it’s meaning to historical recording of Goldberg Variations by Glen Gould.