Maurizio Pollini, the Maestro from Milano, was invited by Lucerne Festival im Sommer to celebrate his 40th stage anniversary. After a difficult beginning of their collaboration he then came to Lucerne almost every year, and especially his work together with Pierre Boulez was always supposed to become Sternstunden at the Lake Lucerne.
That’s also the reason why he spontaneously put the Six Little Piano Pieces by Arnold Schönberg in the beginning of his program for the 17th August. However he could have also chosen some Piano works by Boulez himself. Schönbergs Pieces are crucial in the history of classical music, but to play respectively hear them in concert often delivers the impression of Intimation, Beginning or Attempt.So the concert way of rebegan with Chopin who followed. He played him very lucent, and put him in between of his vision of Debussy and how Chopin is usually played.
The following 2nd book of Debussy’s Preludes showed this positioning perfectly. It still is completely amazing how he renewed the interpretation of this french master, beginning with his recording of the Etudes published in 1994, long after he already did the same with Chopin.
Some critics state that he kind of lacks emotional expression – for me it’s just great to be able to look straight through the sheets while listening to him.