Claudio Abbado and Maurizio Pollini perform Beethoven Choral Fantasy
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That evening in 2001, two old friends had made a date with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: the pianist Maurizio Pollini and the conductor Claudio Abbado, both from Milan, both active supporters of the music of their time and both exceptional musicians. Their paths have met many times, and each occasion has been remarkable.
Everything with them, their lives, their personalities and their political ideals crystallise in the same culture of musical excellence. It is this perfectionism matured at length yet paradoxically very human that they display during a concert in which the choir is the red thread and rarity is the stamp.
The Fantasy for Piano, Choir and Orchestra (1808) by Beethoven is a unique jewel, which appears as a concentrate of the composer's genius: secrets are delivered by the piano while the orchestral development and the choir deliver a humanist message. The piano, which plays an important role – even if the piece is short -, gives us another opportunity to marvel at Maurizio Pollini's precise, dazzling and passionate playing.
In the Second Symphony by Mendelssohn "Logbesang" (Song of Praise), the choir occupies a Major place, and the quality of its performance (it is composed of the choir of the Swedish Radio and the Eric Ericsson chamber choir) is perfect. So are Claudio Abbado's conducting and the interventions of soloists Karita Mattila, Lioba Braun and Peter Seiffert.