Like her other duo-recording venture with pianist Alexandre Rabinovitch, this album again demonstrates why pianist Martha Argerich is the grand dame of two-piano works. This album, with pianist Nelson Freire, offers another interpretation of the Rachmaninoff Second Suite for Two Pianos as well as a transcription of Ravel's La Valse and Lutoslawski's Variations on a Theme of Paganini. Unlike many other piano duos, Argerich and Freire are capable of drawing an amazingly convincing, almost symphonic sound out of their two instruments.
Martha Argerich's reputation is secure. She will go down in history as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, touching everything she does with a scorching genius. And of her all-too-few recordings, this is one of the most celebrated: live performances of two of the great warhorses of the piano concerto repertoire, here transformed into the sleekest, most finely honed of racehorses. Tantalisingly, her Rachmaninov Third had to wait 13 years before it was issued, but when it finally arrived no one was in any doubt that it had been worth the wait. Its epic 45-minute span emerges here as a single stream of consciousness, with the finale as brilliantly explosive as you'll ever hear it.
The Beethoven Triple Concerto is a strange work, with the most important–-or at least prominent–-solos given to the cello; it is the instrument which introduces each movement. The remarkable Martha Argerich wisely allows Mischa Maisky to shine in his solos and leading position, but her contribution is anything but back seat. Her customary virtuosity is everywhere in evidence, and, in a way, she turns the piano into the spinal column of the work, with the violin and cello playing around her. Every time Maisky is about to lapse into a mannerism which might detract–-too much sliding, a dynamic slightly exaggerated–-Argerich brings him back, and both of them play with handsome tone. Capucon's violin is recorded a bit stridently (this was taped live in Lugano), but his playing is equally stunning. Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky leads the orchestra matter-of-factly until the final movement, when he catches the proper fire. In the Schumann A minor concerto Argerich is wonderful the solo passages and a fine partner in orchestrated ones and she really makes much of both the lyrical runs and the dance-like passages in the last movement. Recommended.
This 5 CD set brings together Martha Argerich’s complete studio, live and radio recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, and documents her special, intuitive and passionate relationship with Chopin’s music. Issued in time for her 75th birthday celebration on 5th June 2016, and accompanying the Early Recordings release, this retrospective offers a comprehensive view on the composer who has always been at the very heart of Martha Argerich’s repertoire.
The first new release for ten years from Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado is their first ever album of concertos by Mozart. The legendary pianist and conductor add the sublime music of Mozart to their unrivaled, multi award-winning DG discography of concertos by Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Ravel, Prokofiev, Beethoven and Liszt. Both concertos were recorded with Claudio Abbado s Orchestra Mozart, at concert performances at the 2013 Lucerne Festival that had critics searching for new superlatives. The album contrasts two very different works. Written in D minor, the key of the Queen Of the Night and the opening of Mozart s Requiem, the darkly dramatic No.20, K.466 has a stormy, operatic temperament that looks forward eighteen months to the premiere of Don Giovanni. With its majestic and radiant opening and a march famously reminiscent of the Marseillaise, No.25 in C major, K.503 is the culmination of the twelve transcendent concertos Mozart wrote in Vienna between 1784 and 1786. This release is Martha Argerich s first recording of solo concertos by Mozart on Deutsche Grammophon.
Martha Argerich does not give solo piano recitals anymore. She does something better: she plays duo piano and chamber music with her friends and students. She's been doing it for a couple of decades, and willful as she is, she probably won't change. Besides, when it comes to duo piano and chamber music recitals, Argerich with her friends and students can't be beat. Take, for example, this three-disc set of performances taken from the 2005 Lugano Festival.
Here, on this richly filled CD, is a positive cornucopia of musical genius. Martha Argerich's 1961 disc remains among the most spectacular of all recorded debuts, an impression reinforced by an outsize addition and encore: her 1972 Liszt Sonata. True, there are occasional reminders of her pianism at its most fraught and capricious (Chopin's Barcarolle) as well as tiny scatterings or inaccuracies, yet her playing always blazes with a unique incandescence and character.