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The final rondo again, a classical form articulated by Beethoven in a much expanded but still recognizably classical manner and spirit has Pollini once again responding with an ideal tempo, speedy but not rushed.
This allows him to unleash reserves of virtuosic energy which combine his trademark firepower with a springy, truly rondo-like athleticism.
Millions of words, in dozens of languages, must by now have been written about the playing of Maurizio Pollini, one of the great pianists of our time.
Much of this vast output of journalism has related to the rich store of recordings which he and Deutsche Grammophon have together created, in the course of a relationship that continues to be as fruitful now as it was 30 years ago.
More important, he said to me in an interview, is what is produced with it.
The goal must always and only be that of individual expression: Expressiveness, spontaneity andintellect belong together inseparably.
True, he plays Mozarts own cadenza like an tude, with the high-speed articulation and incisiveness for which his virtuosity is so famous, but a cadenza is surely an appropriate place for a later ages pianistic style to comment on that of Mozarts own time.
Pollinis manner is at once contained and playful, finding the right balance between classical poise and the release of feeling on which a concluding rondo of this kind insists.
Underlying classical values can be more difficult to sense when surrounded by Pollinis astonishing resources of virtuosity. 488 is therefore all the more instructive in that this is one of Mozarts least virtuosic concertos.
(If you find the choice surprising, think of Pollinis interest in Liszts late piano pieces Unstern! W.-Venezia, La lugubre gondola music which is among the most anti-virtuosic ever composed.) Pollini delivers the first movement of Mozarts beautiful concerto with a balance of simplicity, intelligence and an engaging lack of self-consciousness which only the finest musicians seem able to achieve.
The premises by which Pollini swears also determine his choice of musical partners.
It was therefore only natural that the conductor of his second recording of the five Beethoven Piano Concertos from 1992/93 the earlier readings are under the direction of Karl Bhm and Eugen Jochum should have been his friend and colleague of long standing, Claudio Abbado.