Martha Argerich: Part 2

“We never know quite where she will lead us. She is an artist of becoming. Her phrases are charged with unstable energy, driven toward resolution and relief. We fly along behind her, touched and moved.”

– Bernard Holland, The New York Times

In the years following her triumph at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in 1965, Martha Argerich—the “whirlwind from Argentina”—soon became known as a pianist who never played it safe. Each musical outing became for Argerich “a new, high-risk adventure, another opportunity to discover interpretative possibilities in the moment,” noted Caleb Bach. “While this profound need to constantly test limits and resist predictability always charged her performances with great vitality, her restless, impulsive nature was not always conducive to stability in her private life.”

In this, the second episode of a two-part program, Adriaan Fuchs takes a closer look at Argerich’s relationships with conductor Charles DuToit and pianist Stephen Kovacevich, discusses her phenomenal technique, shares some of the qualities that have made her a living legend, and looks at the insecurities and fears that have plagued her career. He also touches on Argerich’s brave struggle with cancer, and her triumphant, now legendary, concert at Carnegie Hall in 2000.

For part 1 of this two-part program, please visit: Martha Argerich: Part 1

Podcast Track List

1) Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 (“Heroic Polonaise”) (Chopin)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Recorded: “live” on February 22, 1965 at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.

2) Second Movement (Adagio assai) from Piano Concerto in G major (Ravel)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 1967

3) First Movement (Avec emportement) from En blanc et noir (Debussy)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
Recorded: 1977

4) Third Movement (Finale alla breve) from Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (Rachmaninoff)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Ricardo Chailly (conductor)
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Recorded: “live” in 1982.

5) First Movement (Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito) from Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 23 (Tchaikovsky)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 1994

6) Tarantella (Presto) from Suite No. 2 For Two Pianos, Op. 17 (Rachmaninoff)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Nelson Freire (piano)
Recorded: 1982

7) Sinfonia from Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826 (Bach)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Recorded: 1980

8) “Precipitato” from Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat major, Op. 83 (Prokofiev)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Recorded “live” in Carnegie Hall on March 25, 2000.

9) Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, K.141, L.422 (Scarlatti)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Recorded: “live” on October 1, 1980 in Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw during the inaugural concert of the 10th International Chopin Piano Competition.

Videos

Piano Concerto in G major (Ravel)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Recorded: “live” in the Auditorio Foro Italico, Rome, February 8, 1969.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 (Tchaikovsky)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Charles Dutoit (conductor)
Recorded: “live” in 1975.

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (Rachmaninoff)
Martha Argerich (piano)
Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)
Recorded: “live” in December 1982.

“Precipitato” from Sonata in B-flat, Op. 83 (Prokofiev)

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