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Martha Argerich

Monday, June 26, 2017


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

June 21

Martha Argerich won’t go Down Under after all

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discShe had been due to make her Australian debut next week at the age of 75, but the great pianist has pleaded exhaustion and is sending Yuja Wang instead. Here’s what she’s telling disappointed Aussies: Dear Sydney public, I am terribly sorry to disappoint you and my dearest friend and lifetime musical partner Charles Dutoit who is the father of our daughter Annie. This is a very important event, his anniversary, 40 years after his first visit to your beautiful country. I am unable to travel and play in this moment, feel very weak, exhausted and having physical pains that worry me, please excuse me! ‘In this condition I am afraid to travel such a long way, I ask your forgiveness, to Charles Dutoit, to the orchestra and to you. Martha Argerich photo: Rodrigo Carrizo Couto, 2014

My Classical Notes

June 12

Old…. and wonderful!

There are times when I see and listen to an old recording, and my whole being smiles, as a consequence. Such is the case with an old recording by the legendary pianist Martha Argerich. She performs the following: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 Performed by Martha Argerich (piano), with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting. This one-off partnership on record between the mercurial Argentinean pianist and scholarly Italian conductor may have looked unlikely on paper, but it struck sparks in early Beethoven, as the critical response at the time recognized. Martha Argerich is, as Gramophone’s reviewer acknowledged in September 1986, a brilliant technician, ‘but there is also a fantastic streak in her make-up, a capacity for creative fantasy, which is needed if areas of these remarkable works are to be brought fully and vividly to life. In both these early concertos, her touch is light and expert’. The pianist herself makes much the same point in a Swiss TV documentary, where she expresses bafflement that critics lavish such praise over her technique: she sees it as a means to an end. In this she would have won the hearty approval of the composer. Classics Today wrote several years ago: “Martha Argerich, piano. What is there to say? These accounts of Beethoven’s first two concertos remain very highly regarded and for good reason. They are exciting as hell.” Here is Ms. Argerich performing this usic many years later:




My Classical Notes

May 28

The Tango Music of Piazzolla

My Classical Notes brings you today a review of “The Sound of Piazzolla” The individual tracks are as follows: Piazzólla: Libertango, with Alison Balsom (trumpet) Escualo Alison Balsom (trumpet) Oblivion Martha Argerich (piano) Histoire du Tango: Bordel 1900, withEmmanuel Pahud (flute) Fuga y Misterio, with The 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker Adiós Nonino The 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker Primavera Porteña, with Daniel Barenboim (piano) Verano Porteño with Daniel Barenboim (piano) Otoño Porteña with David Aaron Carpenter (viola) Invite no Porteño tenTHing Five Tango Sensations: Asleep, with the Alban Berg Quartett Le Grand Tango with Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) La Muerte del Angel Manuel Barrueco Los Pajaros Perdidos Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor) Concierto del angel Tango Ballet Maria de Buenos Aires Suite, with Gidon Kremer All performed by the Kremer Baltica, Kremer Musica, Coral Lirico Buenos Aires Some of the greatest names on today’s classical music scene pay Homage to Astor Piazzolla. Presented in two distinct programs, the first part highlights the most varied of influences: this is not just about the tango; there are influences from jazz and the classical traditions of Bach and Vivaldi, all brought together here. The second part combines original classical compositions – the ‘tango operita’ María de Buenos Aires, the Tango Ballet and Concierto del Angel. The recordings by Gidon Kremer and his KremerATA Baltica are a true piece of Piazzolla pioneer work. In the 1950’s when Astor Piazzolla went to Paris to study classical composition, the tango of his native Argentina was not considered fit for the concert stages of Europe; these were the sultry sounds of the street; the music of the demimonde. Luckily, the formidable composition teacher Nadia Boulanger encouraged her Argentinian pupil to draw precisely on those roots. Piazzolla at last found his true voice as a composer and bandoneon virtuoso. Today, he is considered the father of tango as we know it today, blending rhythmic vitality with orchestral textures. Twenty-five years after Piazzolla’s death, The Sound of Piazzolla confirms that the founder of Tango Nuevo left as his legacy a unique style of music that sounds just as fresh and vibrant today. Here is the music!



Classical music and opera by Classissima



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