The October 27-28, 2001 Carnegie Hall Concerts

The Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1

Reports by Dennis Chang, William Hsieh, and Willem Boone


Vivid impressions and details from three pianists who all
seem to take away one main impression - Musical Magic.
(Presented in the order I received them.)

"I can relate to what Maria Elena wrote about Argerich coming to Buenos Aires and giving some hope in difficult times; I felt the same way in New York. Her playing brings consolation and is balm for the soul."   --  Willem Boone




Dennis Chang

    In spite of all the great events I had gone to in the previous few weeks, nothing quite compared to what had just happened this weekend. The intensity of all four events reached an indescribable height with Martha's Tchaikovsky, and her Beethoven 1st the following day was a perfect epilogue to an extraordinary experience of being reminded of and further enlightened on what music making is all about...

During intermission, Chris and I opted to stand on the left side of the front balcony for the second half of the concert, which actually gave us a perfect view of the entire stage. Next to us was an older veteran concert goers who claimed to have "heard them all," and even he was getting excited about Martha. "It takes someone very special to get me to come out to hear another Tchaikovsky 1st," he quipped. After the performance, he could hardly contain himself, "Did you hear her dynamic shading? The subtlety in phrasing? That's how old pianists used to play romantic music. Horowitz and Rubinstein played the Tchaikovsky Concerto this way. Absolutely NOBODY else in the world plays like this anymore!!!!" It was wonderful to hear.

I must say I really did not have a lot of preconception coming into this performance. Her Tchaikovsky had changed ... much over the years. Sure, I knew that the octaves and the passages were going to be super-humanly fast, but the rest?

The orchestra opened very well. Martha played the opening chords as I expected her to. Very simple and easy attack on the piano. A friend claimed that she used to play with more dynamism, but I really liked the grander and lyrical quality of the performance on Saturday--none of the head banging, bouncing off the bench stuff young pianists like to do. Her first solo showed some signs of nerves. A couple of the arpeggios had wrong notes in them, but the speed and continuity of the phrasing was so breathtaking that such minor blemishes became completely irrelevant.

Her entrance to the first fast episode was light and dancing. The woman standing right below me was on the verge of breaking in to a Russian folk dance... Soon came the first group of fortissimo rapid octaves against the orchestra. She roared through it with awesome power, glorious clarity--and absolutely minimal effort. The audience let out a collective sigh. Some even broke into wry laughter while some (like Chris) muttered to themselves, "Holy ____!!!!" :) Henry remarked afterwards, "It was so easy for her that I still feel the performance was surreal. You know, every pianist knows how difficult these parts are. You work so hard at these passages. She was playing against the orchestra, yet she just did it so easily without even flinching.  It was one line without any breaks..."

People tend to dwell on Martha's phenomenal facility because it is the easiest thing to see, but the singing and colors throughout were absolutely touching. Every time her hands fell on the piano, different colors came out. A few people said that the concert sounded as if she knew the piece so well that she was trying out different effects at the piano as she went along.  I found the improvisatory quality of the playing utterly ravishing. Her cantabile was exactly how a great singer would sing when she encounters an aria with a multitude of expressions. Every note has its place and character, never squarely on the beat or off the beat.  It's very much like reciting poetry. Meter becomes a guideline that clarifies the rhetoric of the text. Martha's music follows very similar principles.

People have such misconceptions about the notion of "fidelity to the score." Malcolm [Bilson] has tried to explain this to people numerous times:  careful reading does not equal a translation of notations.  I've always noticed how careful Martha reads the music. People like to accuse her of rushing at places where the composer doesn't indicate acclerando... These views are so unsophisticated that I really can't be bothered to answer now. With romantic music in particular, a performer ought to make sense of every note in the score in order for music to come alive and touch people.

That was exactly what Martha did with the Tchaikovsky on Saturday night. She caressed the main theme second movement with disarming honesty and endearing affection.  I can go on and on about her changes of color from phrase to phrase, key to key and figuration to figuration, but it all came down to the sublime beauty of the whole picture. The music exuded a luxuriant warmth, punctuated by a capricious interlude. From a pianistic stand point, the scherzo of the slow movement was demonic to a frightening degree, YET the keyword was very much--effortless. She seemed to take such delight in crossing her hands, tickling the keyboard up and down and jabbing at different notes at extreme registers. A child playing with her toy...almost.

The third movement was, again, vintage virtuosic Martha. She dashed out as fast, if not faster, than her Kondrashin recording. Wrong notes here and there, but everybody was on the ride with her. The pulsating rhythmic drive eventually led to the most miraculous cascade of octaves at the climatic moment. She stormed from the bottom of the keyboard to the top without missing a beat and a note...yes, even those nasty double octave leaps at the end. The concerto concluded with such wild excitement that people were on their feet before Dutoit finished the final tutti.

We all know how Martha concerts don't end so I won't get into the ovation part. The cutest episode was during one of the bows she took -- instead of holding on to the side of the piano, she put her left hand on the keyboard and played a few notes as her "encore" to the audience's overwhelming reaction. She literally pulled the concertmaster off his seat at the end of the concert. The entire orchestra walked off with her to end the evening.

After the concert, everybody was in an indescribable state of adrenaline high. We could not stop talking about it. The most common reaction of all was, "Wait!!?? Who wrote that?? Tchaikovsky? How come I've never heard the piece before?" People were expressing how the performance gave them a brand new view of the concerto and how much they enjoyed the music. Maya was glowing and saying that she realized and was reminded of how much fun music making can be. Sure, everyone was in awe of Martha, but to make people fall in love with Tchaikovsky 1?? I think Martha accomplished something truly remarkable!

Afterwards, we went backstage only to face some very hostile ushers and guards. We were hurried out of the hall...along with Evegeny Kissin. :) His hair was still out of control, but he was taller than I expected. Anyway, the story was that Martha walked off the the stage and headed straight for her limo outside the hall. She seemed in a terrifically bad mood because she was not at all happy with her performance. Wrong notes, apparently.

I was secretly glad to read that somebody heard her practicing one of the Danzas Argentinas in rehearsal because I seriously expected her to play that.  I thought that she would just feel a pull to play the Ginastera in a concert billed as "A Tribute to Argentina." However, she was apparently in no mood to play an encore after the Tchaikovsky. Too bad...

Sunday's concert was an entirely different experience.  It was almost spiritual in a way. You may ask, "How in the world can Beethoven 1st possibly sound spiritual?", yet it was absolutely mesmerizing and touching. She played with her typical spontaneity, but there was a very special sense of love and tenderness that came across as truly endearing and touching.

There were only a couple of instances in the performances when I was reminded how amazing a virtuosic pianist she is, but the rest of the time, I was transfixed by the spell she had weaved with her songs. The second movement was even more "adagio religioso" than Bartok's 3rd Concerto. The sense of tranquility and absolute inner peace is something we rarely hear from Martha. Can you imagine a performance by her without any romantic angst? It happened in front of my eyes. As I hear the second movement in my head now, I can still sense the jolt in my stomach yesterday. The pristine beauty of the phrasing and sound...

The third movement came alive, yet it was somehow without any overt brilliance. The joy and fun in the music were tremendous yet they were contained in a certain enveloping spell. A very, very dreamy and maternal Beethoven C Major, I would say. Such strange words to describe the performer, the piece, and the composer, but they seemed so fitting and perfect.  It was the first time I sat frozen at my chair after a Martha performance.

While I was fully aware of the greatness that just happened, I was too internally stirred to express my enthusiasm in an extroverted way.  I found it very awkward to stand up and scream "Bravos" because the act itself suddenly became almost disturbing.  I eventually shook myself out of the trance and gave her my warmest ovations.  It was the most unusual response to a Martha concert I had ever witnessed. The majority of the audience was actually in their seats, yet they broke into fast rhythmic clapping everytime she came out.  It took about 4 curtain calls for her to play the first piece from Kinderszenen.

Chris was sighing after the first five seconds.  I still can't comprehend how she could make a piece so familiar and simple sound so different and engaging. The rubato and other subtleties were completely spontaneous. Phrasing and voicing sounded as if she were making them up on the spot. Afterwards, Chris was telling me about how she began the ritardando of the second repeat of the second phrase two bars before everybody else...or something like that.  I completely ceased to notice such things.  It was a new piece, new experience, and absolutely heavenly.

The ending left an indelible impression because she was going dangerously fast in the penultimate bar.  I wondered how in the world she was going to be able to finish the piece and make the phrase coherent at that speed.  In the final measure, she delayed, for about a quarter of a century, the last triplet of the left hand, which miraculously gave a perfect sense of finality to the piece. You don't hear people go "Ah..." after "Of Foreign Land and People," but it happened. Wild applause. Concertmaster got dragged backstage.

I don't know if I can talk about her anymore ... She takes everything from her listeners, such as the ability to enjoy another pianist's Tchaikovsky Concerto, yet gives everything to her listeners. What a great artist.



William Hsieh - I hope to get a photo from William too.

Long revered as the lioness of the piano, Argerich has become the high priestess of volatile temperament and virtuosity. Yet she possesses a feline grace that can prove infinitely more winsome. In both concerti, her innate ability to make a refreshing case out of familiar notes was a godsend all too rare these days.

The Tchaikosvky First Piano Concerto on Saturday night seemed an odd bedfellow to the infectiously bitter-sweet swing of Piazolla in the first half. Still, Argerich and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Dutoit’s direction managed to create a distinct sound world of their own. No small feat indeed, given what a well-trodden warhorse they had to tackle.

The Argerich-Dutoit joint vision seemed set on the grand scale, with broad and stately tempo in the first movement, emphasizing Tchaikovsky’s maestoso marking while leaving ample room for Argerich’s poetic musings. The arguably more Russian rough-and-gruff aspects were subdued for a more urbane and intimate feel. The string sections sounded polished. Dutoit’s conducting was lively but without aggression.

Argerich rounded out pointed angles and opted for a fluid and streamlined delivery. Her playing was at once powerful and delicate, resolute but not driven, fast but not breathless. This time around, she seemed particularly intent on balance as well as subtlety of expression. The result was nothing short of a sonic feast for audience eager to gobble up her every note.

The first movement, clocked around 20 minutes, can spell tedium in lesser hands. Not here. If anything, Argerich’s gift for making something musical out of strictly mechanical passages was a wonder in itself.  In bars 160-178 and bars 443-466, the "chopped" runs of left-hand single notes and right-hand octaves were peppered with subtle accents. She artfully varied the dynamic levels from note to note to achieve distinct layers of sound that appeared three-dimensional.

Thrill-riders seeking chaotic frenzy à la Kord/Warsaw Phil and raw passion à la Kondrashin/Bavarian RSO would probably be startled to find Argerich content on a lower gear. The octaves in bars 251-258 and 346-355, while hardly humanly possible, were a full notch slower than the Kord/WP and slightly slower than the 1996 Abbado/BPO. What was lost in sheer speed was more than made up in structural coherence as these octaves did not draw undue attention to themselves, unlike the Kord/WP occasion. In the Abbado/BPO version, the orchestra, already aggressive in the momentum build-up, drastically accelerates around bar 340 to set a platform for soloist’s entry at bar 346 at comparable tempo. Since Dutoit/MSO did not sanction such an acceleration bridge, it would have seemed oddly out of place if Argerich simply pressed forward at double speed.

When it came time for the solo cadenza, Argerich’s Cadenza a tempo rubato was an interplay of light and shadow. The jump-trill figures (bars 563- 574) were tossed off like falling snowflakes. The staccato octaves in contrary motions (bars 580-586) effortlessly bounced off like stones skipping over lake surface, creating ever diminishing arches of projectile. And all these in padded pianissimo!

The short 2nd movement started off at a brisker tempo than usual. She constantly varied the weight on the quiet staccato chords (bars 42-47) while always maintaining top notes legato. IMHO, the pinnacle of her pianism towered in the prestissimo section, where she combined lightening-speed reflex with nonchalant élan. Slightly faster than in her 1996 Abbado/BSO recording, here she achieved even more freedom of expression. Her inimitable sforzandi in bars 69 and 73 flashed like bolts from the blue. Parallel scale-runs in bars 99-106 flickered like ghost flames à la feux-follet. The prestissimo section became a bona fide mini scherzando under her hands. The staggering range of dynamic contrasts within a dense forest of notes recalls her Ravel Scarbo from the 1978 Amsterdam recital. Whereas she was chillingly devilish in Scarbo, here she was elfishly mischievous, coaxing myriads of shimmering colors from the piano.

The Finale galloped along similar tempo set in the Abbado/BPO recording. Somewhere along the numerous repeats of the opening solo figures she hit a clinker in the right hand, though it was nowhere as exposed as on Kondrashin/BRSO. Hardly underpowered, she generally eschewed weight for speed. The parallel runs one octave apart (bars 183-213) snaked up and down the keyboard with dazzling fluency; yet they were so delicately wrought, with subtle coloring and dynamic shifts that defied human possibility at this speed.

Argerich’s torrential octaves in poco più mosso (bars 243-251) probably caught even the most avid octave-watchers off guard. A floodgate opening at one fell swoop, this was a phenomenon pure and simple. These mere seconds embodied hallmarks of her pianism: lightening velocity, thundering power, precision of execution and ease of delivery. One was left flabbergasted by the sheer magnitude of its awesomeness in a live performance. Truly a spectacle to see to be believed.

The most obvious unhinging of ensemble-ship occurred in the final page, where soloist and conductor/orchestra alike were partners in crime, catapulting the coda to an ecstatic finish only to find Argerich, true to form, race ahead of the pack. Her interlocking octaves shot off in a blur of motion. By then, nobody could care less as the audience erupted in wild cheers even before the finishing chords.

As expected, the audience cheered on round after round. The pianist, smiling and bowing deeply, dutifully acknowledged the applause with heartfelt gratitude. Still, there was no sign of an encore. The orchestra members sat stone-fixed on stage, initially refusing to budge. A few more rounds passed, mixed with solo and duo bows when Dutoit would emerge from the wing. The scene ended with the hilarious sight of the concertmaster, no match for Argerich’s formidable arm strength, literally dragged out of his seat by the pianist.

********
Argerich re-appeared to play the Beethoven First Piano Concerto on Sunday afternoon. Dutoit launched the orchestral introduction in a brisk but regulated tempo. Her solo entry was calm and somewhat understated, building up the tension as time went by. Her articulations were particularly notable, with different degrees of detachment in the staccato passages. In downward chromatic scales (such as in bar 314), the initial slight accent on the upbeat gave away to ever softer flow of notes, like rain drops trickling down window panels. In bars 420-422, she held the first note of each descending quadruplet slighter longer to form a scale-within-a-scale of C-B-A-G-F-E-D-C.  In general her scale passages in Beethoven were brighter lit than in Tchaikovsky. Her runs were pearly with bell-like resonance. Her sound was always well-padded, full and plush, almost ripe for the picking.

Just before re-entry into the first theme, in bar 344, instead of an octave glissando, she opted for an ordinary scale, first with right hand and then paired with left hand to finish as parallel scales.  I must admit I was pining for the spectacle of an octave glissando, but had to concede that her scales were just as effective.

She played the shortest of Beethoven’s three extant cadenzas. As usual, the passagework sparkled. Her scales were strings of pearl freely flung over the keyboard (especially bars 14-16). As always in her solo passages, the subtle inflections of her tonal palette shone through quietly like a jewel slowly turned.

The second movement was a sonic dreamscape. Leisurely spaced, it had an air of hazy summer afternoon. At places, time itself seemed to stand still. At times, she thickened the sound texture by connecting separate base notes. Other times the flurries of grace notes quietly bubbled up seemingly from nowhere.  In bars 49-52, she held the pedal throughout, creating an unexpectedly Debussy-ian effect by blending different harmonies. One could almost drift into a sweet slumber as her exquisite pianissimo faintly dissolved against the background of muted pizzacatto strings.

Allowing no time for daydreamers, Argerich dived right into the Rondo movement after only the briefest pause. As usual in the finale movements, she opted for tempo just shy of neck-breaking. Her sense of jeux was palpable. She obviously took great delight frolicking through the rondo, liberally sprinkling a sforzando here and there. Pianist and conductor seemed to engage in a musical hide-and-seek, with Argerich whisking in and out of the foreground. Perilous hand-hand jumps (bars 192-199) were a child’s play for her. Her rhythms were so irresistibly bouncy one could almost dance to it.

This was hedonistic pleasure unalloyed. How Beethoven himself would have envied to bear witness!

As usual, the audience went wild over the performance, according the Argentine pianist inexhaustible applause and cheers. To be fair, Dutoit deserved all kudos for his minute attention to Argerich’s every need, carefully micro-managing tempos changes to cater to her legendary spur-of-the-moment shifts. His conducting seemed so suave and easy-going that one could have wrongfully overlooked his indispensable role in holding the acts together.

Rounds and rounds of applause afterwards, Argerich finally sat down and played the first piece from Schumann Kinderszenen. It was tender, sweet and hypnotically poetic. Short too. So short that it seemed more like a tease.

[ Aside from Andrys: I heard this encore in 1996 and can't imagine a better ending to a concert.
  Mesmerizing.]
  ********
Over the course of these two concerts, a general sense of Argerich’s "hand choreography " gradually emerged. She tends to play with fingers splayed. Her "default" right hand position is with fingers 3-5 on both hands pointing outward. Her hands do not seem big, nor are the fingers particularly slender. However, the webbing between her thumbs and index fingers seem exceptionally wide, and her palms relatively thick. With the exception of rapid scale passages, she rarely curls her fingers, preferring to let them cover flat and straightened out over the black keys like spiders.

The physical style of her playing can probably be summed up in two words: free-wheeling. Her technique seems natural enough that she could just strike notes in any conceivable way that suits her fancy. She frequently "picks out" notes using solely the index fingers (especially left hand) without undue accentuation. But then again the accents will be there should she so desire. Or she might flop her palms like cat paws. The way her chords and octaves effortlessly sweep and thunder, one should be forgiven to think she has no wrists. To casual observers, Argerich may well be poking around and dusting the keyboard instead of actually playing the piano. The 9-foot Steinway seems no more a formidable beast than an oversize toy under her hands.

Though smudges were occasionally present, notably in Tchaikovsky, her pedaling in the two concerti was remarkably clean, using a great deal of half-pedaling and flutter-pedaling. She had undoubtedly adjusted to the Carnegie acoustics and nothing in her sonic projection, from the gossamer pianissimo to engulfing fortissimo, sounded amiss. In fact, one could search in vain for a single unpolished note.

On a strictly mechanical level, her note accuracy was not entirely infallible. Wrong notes figured in the low dozen, but few were particularly exposed and others one probably couldn’t care less. She cannot be further from the better-safe-than-sorry school of piano playing, though I have never come across a "sorry" performance from her. What amounts to tremendous risk-taking to even seasoned professionals becomes non-issues for her.

Still, one marvels at how all the notes somehow just end up falling into their rightful places, each note with the sublime but indelibly distinct Argerichism.

There were plenty of novelties in her playing that were new to my ears.

In addition to her immaculately phrased top-note legatos, she also created suspense and surprise by lingering not only on the top note, but also on the second-top notes on various occasions. She achieved a notable sense of symmetry by presenting a mirror image on the left hand to echo the corresponding notes in the right hand. At the same time, she formed inner voices not by purposefully sculpturing them à la Horowitz, but by letting a string of selected notes surface amidst flurries of notes, achieving a three-dimensional effect.

But by far the most elusive aspect of her pianism is her sense of "sway", a sense of floating just above the tempo constraints, a sense of split-second note value variance, a sense of subtle withdraw or hesitation. This is not rubato as is commonly understood, but encompasses a wider latitude of impromptu "departure" in various senses. This "sway" element is so uniquely hers, one really has to hear her live to experience it. Words simply cannot do justice.

All in all, these two performances vividly captured Argerich’s unique pianism. The Tchaikosvky was refreshingly free of pretension and bombast, the Beethoven alive with verve and charm. But there was a new sense of mellowness that set these apart from performances of her younger years. Though she has lost none of her brilliant virtuosity, she is now more content to let notes "solidify", curbing somewhat her notorious penchant for rushing. At the same time, she tends to impart different characters, different shadings and more colors in addition to her usual dynamic contrasts.

There is a new sense of compactness in her playing that suggests largess in smallness, paradoxical as this may sound. No note, however insignificant, is superfluous in her musical tapestry. No identical passages are repeated quite the same way. Her playing is so richly variegated, so exquisitely colored that one cannot bear to follow up with a non-Argerich performance. At least not right away.

Hearing Argerich in concert, it is all too easy to forget she is a pianist by profession. For somebody capable of turning scales into liquid gold and grace notes into stardust, she might as well be an alchemist. An alchemist ne plus ultra. And I’m glad to report that at 60, her Midas touch remains as unparalleled as ever.



Willem Boone -- posted to forums - I hope to get a photo from Willem too.

Several Argerich-fans have already posted their impressions after the recent NY-concerts, but I simply can't resist to post mine as I am still (back safe in Holland!) ecstatic about what I heard and saw.

First of all, I didn't make the trip to NY just for the Argerich- concerts . . . , but I realized that a live Tschaikofsky 1 is a "once in a lifetime experience" since she doesn't seem to play this concerto so often as some of her other old warhorses.

Thank God she did show up that Saturday!  I had been feeling nervous the whole day, having this feeling "Something very special is going to happen tonight"... And Gosh! After some Ginastera and Piazzolla and an intermission, there she was! She must be very popular in New York (anywhere I suppose, but I have been told she is now particularly revered in New York after her 2000 recital, which I sadly missed!!!). She must be one of the very few artists who get an ovation before having played a single note! She could only stop the audience by sitting at the keyboard and pretending to play (strumming)!

The performance was hypnotizing; I at least was hypnotized during 30+ minutes. To me it seemed as if it lasted only 5 minutes. It was fascinating to see how she has still evolved since the famous 1994 recording with Abbado. And yet it sounded different. I know her 4 performances on CD and noticed this one wasn't as wild as the Kondrashin or Kord-readings. There was wild animal-like excitement (the famous chords, which she plays as if she looses off volleys....), but they were part of an overall vision now, they were integrated. I still wonder how someone can play with such awesome power, even at age 60. Maybe there are a few others who can equal her (Volodos, Pletnev), but I wonder if they can play at the same speed, combined with the same accuracy and precision. It's simply beyond belief!

What I have always admired in Argerich's playing: the total freedom in her phrasing, but also the technical "freedom."  Although she doesn't lack any power, there is always some sort of lightness in her playing.  The Tschaikofsky can occasionally sound like a heavy-handed warhorse, but not in her hands. She also has an amazing ability to play the endless sequences in the first movement, which can sound very repetitive. She always varies her touch and approach and avoids any monotony. And what also amazes me: she seems to play very "nonchalantly"; to me it looks as if she wipes off dust from the keyboard, but it's actually her phenomenal effortless technique. Yet she is very much absorbed by what she does; listens remarkably well to the other musicians and "responds" accordingly.

There were of course wonders too in the 2nd movement (delicacy and the amazing prestissimo section at a scarcely credible speed) and the 3rd movement, which was a wild gallop. The audience started cheering even before the last chord sounded out and she got an endless ovation with at least 6 curtain calls. You have read the end of the story; she was determined to not play an encore, you can almost feel the tension: "Does she play an encore?"  I always wonder what the role of Dutoit is during these curtain calls; does he encourage her or stop her from playing an encore? By the way, I was so taken by Argerich that I hardly noticed the orchestral playing.... I guess it was pretty good... I actually didn't plan to go to her Beethoven 1st, since I heard her already in that concerto in 1992 (the version that has been issued by EMI from the Concertgebouw!). However I didn't know too well what to do that afternoon(I was supposed to fly back the same evening) and finding out really late that it was an afternoon concert, I gave it a try and managed to get a fairly cheap ticket (35 dollar) with a partial view. This time I could see her facial expression, which was fascinating too (Thankfully I saw her hands during the Tschaikofsky!!). Great playing of course, very sparkling and doing perfect justice to the young, juvenile Beethoven.

Argerich is someone who plays the typical Beethovenian sforzati to perfection. Once again, I was struck by all the lively details in her phrasing. And as always, I love her tone. The last movement was typical Argerich; taken at a very fast pace, yet immaculately shaped and truely "scherzando". The short cadenza is always an exhilarating moment in her rendition; it starts off like a rocket!  To my surprise she got an even more frantic applause than the day before (not because of the playing of course, but I think the Tschaikofsky ends in a more spectacular way and almost never fails to have its effect on the audience).  It went on and on and from the determined way she walked to the piano, you could expect that she would play an encore now. And SHE DID! Not the usual Scarlatti, but the 1st of the Kinderszenen. I think it was appropriate, because her Beethoven 1 sometimes vaguely prefigures Schumann. Her playing sounds sometimes slightly romantic and is quite different from the admirable, very classic and almost restrained approach of the Beethoven sonata op 10/3, which she played in Tokyo in 1976 (and which makes me long for MORE Beethoven!!!).

All in all, this was a GREAT WEEKEND! I can relate to what Maria Elena wrote about Argerich coming to Buenos Aires and giving some hope in difficult times; I felt the same way in New York. Her playing brings consolation and is balm for the soul. Although I am not even from New York, I felt this more strongly than usually. And I consider myself a very lucky man I heard her in the Tschaikofsky 1! There is only one more wish on my list: the Rach 3 live.... Should she ever decide to play it again, I'll catch a plane and come!

Ok,this was long, but it was special.... and she deserves my full ecstatic attention...

Best wishes to all of you,

Willem


Photos Copyright ©2000-2001 Jeff Friedman




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