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Ivo Pogorelich
Biography, albums, concert review of the pianist

Article added in March 2000

Ivo Pogorelich was born in Belgrade in 1958. He received his first piano lessons at the age of seven, and went to Moscow at the age of twelve to study at the Central Music School and then at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1976 he began intensive studies with the renowned pianist and teacher Aliza Kezeradze with whom he was married from 1980 until her premature death in 1996. Ivo Pogorelich won the Casagrande Competition in Terni (Italy) in 1978 and the Montreal International Music Competition in 1980; but it was the prize he failed to win that made him world-famous. In 1980 he entered the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw where his elimination in the third round sparked a fierce controversy which drew the attention of the whole musical world to the pianist. Martha Argerich called him a genius and left the jury in protest. Ivo Pogorelich gave his debut recital in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1981.

Pogorelich supports young musicians. In 1986 he established a foundation in Croatia to raise funds for scholarships for young artists to further their studies abroad. Since 1989 the annual Ivo Pogorelich Festival has the aim of supporting promising young musicians at the beginning of their careers by giving them the opportunity to perform together with renowned artists. In 1994 the pianist set up a foundation in Sarajevo to raise money to build a hospital and to provide medical support for the people of Sarajevo. With this aim in mind, numerous concerts are planned for the forthcoming year under the auspices of UNESCO. Ivo Pogorelich also gives many charity concerts in support of, for example, the Red Cross, the rebuilding of Sarajevo, or the fight against illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. In 1988 he was named an "Ambassador of Goodwill" by UNESCO.

 
Article added on March 6, 2000

Concert in Zurich, February 28, 2000
 
Ivo Pogorelich is no showman. He does not like to entertain the public with expressive gestures. His way of making music involves keeping his distance to the public. His playing is also of an unusual intellectual stringency and rigour. In Zurich and Geneva Pogorelich concentrated on Chopin: Polonaise No. 4 in c-minor op. 40/2 (1839), Polonaise No. 5 in f-minor op. 44 (1840/41), Sonata No. 2 in b-minor "Marche Funèbre" op. 35 (1839). In the second part he played Chopin's 3 Mazurkas op. 59 (1845) and Sonata No. 3 in h-minor op. 58 (1844). The  charity concert was in support of the mother and child hospital in Sarajevo.
 
Contrary to Chopin's most famous Polonaise in A-major op. 40, Polonaise op. 40/2 in c-minor is rarely played. Pogorelich rendered the heavy bass-theme with such an extensive use of the pedal that it covered up most of the details. Polonaise f-minor op. 44 with its heroic character was also too loud and lacked clear sound. The interpretation of Sonata No. 2 in b-minor was of another quality. In the beginning there was too much pedal too but his masterful domination of the technical difficulties, his dramatic and dark playing of the "Marche Funèbre", the heroic pathos, the exaltation, the fortissimos and rubatos as well as the sensitive and vulnerable parts were soon able to fire the audience.
 
The second part started with Chopin's Mazurkas - and with less use of pedal. That served the rendering of the dramatic as well as of the poetic moments well. Porgorelich transmitted the emotions better than in the Polonaises. As in the first part, the Sonata was the highlight. He entered Opus 58 in a sensitive way. The Scherzo offered the possibility to show his virtuosity and the Largo in H-major was again a touching moment. The only disturbing factor were the two mobile phones ringing (!) before Pogorelich entered the rousing Finale. An enchanted crowd was offered no encores.
 
On March 7, 2000 Marianna Ranalli sent us the following feedback on the concert of Ivo Pogorelich. She saw the artist in Geneva a few days of his concert in Zurich reviewed by Cosmopolis. The program was the same.
 
"[...] je considère Pogorelich l'un des pianistes les plus brilliants de sa génération. Effectivement, au niveau technique, il l'a confirmé à l'occasion du concert de vendredi soir. Au niveau interprétation, j'ai trouvé certains morceaux un peu trop lents, p. ex. toute la deuxième partie de la sonate no. 3. Parfois, on a l'impression qu'il suit le fil de ses pensées, en pénalisant la cohérence de ce qu'il joue. Seule exception, la marche funèbre qui, à mon goût, était presque une Radetzy Marsch (trop rapide!!!). Le touché exceptionnel et une technique des cinq doigts très brilliante rendent les sonorités très rondes ou très cristallines, selon les cas, mais toujours fort agréables. [...]

Voilà, en bref, mes impressions sur le concert. A bientôt, Marianna".

CDs by Ivo Pogorelich from Amazon.com.




Ivo Pogorelich. Photo copyright: Deutsche Grammophon.
CDs by Ivo Pogorelich from Amazon.com.


Ivo Pogorelich, 1999: Chopin, 4 Scherzi: Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20; Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31; Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39; Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54. Get the CD from Amazon.com or Amazon.de. - Sheet music by Chopin.
 
Check also Deutsche Grammophon: Ivo Pogorelich plays Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 (CD 415 123-2).


Two more albums, CDs by Pogorelich added on April 7, 2001:


Ivo Pogorelich: Chopin Preludes Op. 28. Get it from Amazon.com or from Amazon.de.


Pogorelich: Chopin-Recital. Get it from Amazon.de

CDs by Ivo Pogorelich from Amazon.com.
 
Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.