Label news: Sony signs dormant pianist

The extraordinary pianist Ivo Pogorelich who has made two recordings in the past two decades has signed an ‘ an exclusive long-term recording contract’ with Sony’s Bogdan Roscic.

Starting this autumn Pogorelich, 60, will release Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata, paired with Beethoven sonatas #22 and 24. He said: ‘I am very glad that Sony expressed interest in my current work.  Many years ago the founder of the company, Mr. Akio Morita, presented me with a gift – a remastered set of the original recordings of Sergei Rachmaninov…. On my first Sony recording – soon to be released – I play a work by Sergei Rachmaninov, his Sonata No 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 and I am very pleased by this association!’


Pogorelich’s last recording was made three years ago for the digital channel Idagio. Before that, he went 18 years without making a record.

(Is that a record?)


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  • Wishing for the best and hope the new recordings will not tarnish the legacy of this once great pianist. Sadly, Pogorelich’s pianism declined steeply after the death of his wife and mentor, and I am afraid he never truly recovered.

    Without matter of the outcome, let us hope that he will be remembered for his renderings of Gaspard de la nuit, the Scarlatti sonatas and Bach’s English Suites, and not for subsequent eccentricities.

    • I agree. Those early recordings were full of life, color, and spontaneity. After the tragedy in his life they were missing all of those qualities. Let’s hope he has found his way back.

    • I greatly enjoyed his Chopin Scherzos for DG. Thrilling playing. I clearly didn’t find that recording as wilful as some did.

    • Just checking: when did you listen Pogorelich playing for the last time and have you heard the recording of two sonatas mentioned above?
      With all due respect, this old phrase about Pogorelich’s pianism steep decline being repeated again and again for decades is quite annoying.

    • It is quite revealing to read here the musical pundits
      and their 2 cents worth of musical profundities on
      the topic of Mr.Pogorelich and his artistry .
      It seems to come down to” on whose ox is being gored .” A pianist who talks to cows , distorts works
      to suit his lame brained theories is considered the
      Messiah of the piano whereas Mr.Pogorelich who
      may wanderer afield now and then is considered
      a has been failure with the crocodile hopes he will
      find his way back and once again find favor with the
      musical back seat drivers who seem to know exactly how a musical work should be played and the reasons the playing does not reach their 2 cent
      standards .

  • What is truly sad is that Pogorelich remains blissfully unaware of just how bad his playing has become. Pogorelich’s performances over the last 20 years have lacked any remote semblance of competence, and an artist ceases to be an artist once he loses the ability of self-criticism. It’s certainly sad that his wife/teacher died, but was she the only thing that held his artistry together? If so, then what does that say about him?

  • Pogorelich went from being an absolutely original interpretative genius to a bizarre caricature of his former self. Performances in the past few years have been so eccentric they were often unlistenable.
    A recital in Zagreb last month gave indications that his former brilliance may in fact have returned. The absurdly extreme tempi and dynamics were gone and there was more than a glimmer of his earlier outstanding pianistic ability and insight.
    Pogorelich’s career was never traditional and it could well be that he will pull off one of greatest comebacks in musical memory. Bravo Pogo.

  • Mostly very negative comments. Sad.

    From my part I’m just waiting for Ivo “Comeback Kid” Pogorelich.

  • Oh dear. The freak show has returned. I wish him well, but have no idea why Sony would hire him. The man needs help, not publicity.

    • Poor Mr.Pogorelich to be judged by a lowly file clerk
      and an admitted boring one at that ./
      Sony hired Mr. Pogorelich because he may appeal
      to an audience that finds the pianist of interest and his playing worth the effort of giving of ones time
      to hear what he now has to say musically.The freak show is the second rate musical comments made
      by so called musical pundits who are quick to point
      out Mr. Pogorelich is not their cup of tea and if he were to follow their advice what a wonderful pianist he would be..

    • Agreed ! As with many CD companies, if you pay them, they’ll put out your stuff. Guess DG had zero interest in their once great piano star. I remember some recitals at Carnegie Hall in the 90’s that were spectacular.

  • Lord luv a duck! Give the guy a break! There are so many flash in the pan young pianists and singers constantly coming on the market. (Yes, I hear you: he was marketed as such all those years ago, too.) But Pogorelich has now been around the block a few times …wisdom and experience with years? Given him a break for gawd’s sake! You don’t need to buy the new recordings if you don’t want to.

  • I heard him many times in the 80s and 90s in NYC – if he effects a 50% of his old self comeback, it will still be better than 3/4 of the piano nitwits that Carnegie and Lincoln Center present every year.

  • It reminds me of Liszt’s comment about Schumann:

    “”He began as a genius, and ended as a talent.”

    The remark was made sadly and with regret, not spitefully, Liszt having been one of the most generous of men to his colleagues and friends.

      • No, it was better to end up a visionary genius such as Liszt.

        There is a saying by Bela Bartok (which I am unable to locate at the moment) to the effect that the seeds of the music of the future lay in Liszt, not Wagner.

  • Great news! Today, Mr. Pogorelich plays better then ever before, with maturity and authority of great master, all of us need his music so much! Can’t wait for the album!!!

  • Cooked and overcooked…. I wish he would have recorded Chopin Etudes instead of Préludes when he was at his peak, would have been cd of century….Like his Scarlattis Now it is mostly very slow or very fast…..The Enfant terrible is most of the time a terrible enfant….

  • The veiled negativity of the author as well as the outright dastardly commentary of non connoisseurs / know-it-alls here is shameful. They have not heard the current Pogorelich. I have. And he was magnificent.

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