Whatever happened to Ivo Pogorelich?

I was pretty shocked to read an article in the Denver Post a couple of days ago in which the recent playing of Ivo Pogorelich is described as “incoherent and interpretatively perverse”.

When back in the early 80’s when I was privileged enough to hear Pogorelich play Schumann’s “Etudes Symphoniques”, he was regarded as quite a star, and rightly so.
His performance was part of a wonderful gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall. I had actually bought tickets specifically to hear Jessye Norman, with whom I was enthralled at the time, but the ticket also brought with it such delights as Messiaen’s “Oiseaux Exotiques” with Paul Crossley and the aforementioned Schumann. I had heard various reports of Pogorelich at the time and was not at all convinced that I would join the legions of fans. I’m always suspicious of superstars. However, from the first note of the Etudes, I was completely overwhelmed by Pogorelich’s presence, energy, musicality and evident technical mastery. I can rarely remember being so transfixed in the presence of anyone.
That’s why I’m saddened to hear recent reports. I wonder what has happened to such a talent.
The original review on which the Denver Post article is in part based can be found here.

2 Responses to “Whatever happened to Ivo Pogorelich?”

  1. What happened to him was that he became even better than ever and went far ahead of all others. So far that they don’t get it. To state that Ivo’s interpretations were incoherent would be the same as if they would say Keith Jarrett’s interpretations are dull and void of any emotion. We should forget about “traditional” interpretations. Ivo has a rare gift to extract from paper what no composer could ever put there, and that is their heart and soul and the essence and purpose of why they were doing it in the first place. He gets straight down to it and some people just cannot handle it. it is too much for them. It is so unconventional, so original and free of prejudice. Those traditional interpretations now sound robotic and pale in comparison. And that hurts, I guess…

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