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.