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Pianist Maurizio Pollini: Perpetuating Kabbalah-based Inspiration?

An all-Chopin recital April 18 at Carnegie Hall by the Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini, who gives further performances of the same composer’s music on April 29 and May 9, contained spiritual, even mystical, depth.

Chopin is not often considered the most metaphysical of composers; the Hungarian Jewish pianist András Schiff, himself a majestic Chopin interpreter, has belittled Chopin the man as a notorious antisemite. Yet in Pollini’s hands, Chopin’s Preludes and Scherzos seem like a form of gnosis.

These Pollini recitals surround the 20th anniversary, on May 8, of the death of the pianist’s great friend and mentor Luigi Nono. As we read in Nono’s “Writings” (Écrits) from Christian Bourgois Éditions in Paris, sadly untranslated into English, Pollini was a close comrade of the leftist Nono, accompanying him to perform at Italian factories and prisons in the 60s.

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Pianist Maurizio Pollini: Perpetuating Kabbalah-based Inspiration?

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