Martha Argerich
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Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire, Beppu 2001, by Akira Fukasawa

Beppu 2001
Photos of Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire, from Beppu 2001, by Akira Fukasawa)

12/6/99 - (Revised)  The Brilliant Classics" label's "Great Pianists of the [20th] Century" - a 5-cd set ($9 to $19 depending on where you buy it) which includes two Argerich contributions recorded at the Busoni Competition, which she won at the age of 16 (when she also won the Geneva competition), along with the following:
    Horowitz, Rachmaninov, Rubinstein, Lhevinne, Cortot, Godowsky, Moiseiwitsch, Solomon, Friedman (Ignaz), Lamond (Frederic), Sofronitzki, Lipatti, Schnabel, Gilels, Arrau, Gieseking, Richter, Michelangeli, Wild, Brendel, Lugansky (Nikolai)

    Gyorgy Sajo of the rec.music.classical.recordings newsgroup tells us Argerich's tracks contain The Liszt and Prokofiev from the Busoni Competition (1957) -- and not what the CDnow and Tower track listings show.  Also, while finding the sound in the last 2 discs (from the 60s and 90s) enjoyable, he's not happy with the sound on the mono transfers in the first 3 discs.
    Paul Goldstein counters that pitch stability is important to him and that this is good on all of these and that he hears a "basically musical sound throughout" in contrast to the "muffled, denatured" results from, as an example, EMI's Schnabel Beethoven sonatas.  He recommends this set as a very inexpensive way to hear "some of the most famous old piano recordings."

    I have the set now, and I find many of the mono recordings of the late 20s to 30s much better than what I've heard in the past, including some from the Philips "Great Pianist" series.  Some are less successful, depending on source, with some hiss or LP-like noise on the Vol 3 tracks by Schnabel and Arrau and some distortion in that volume's muffled Gilels track.  Still, I think that this is a fantastic bargain and am enjoying it thoroughly.  The set was still available at $9.95, at Berkshire (URL below) when I ordered it from them in August but is shipped faster (in 2-3 days) from CD Universe for $16.47 for the set there (no sales tax). See direct links below

    Gyorgy Sajo found this set at only $9 at http://www.zweitausendeins.de in Germany (you'll have to read German and pay int'l shipping).
    Simon Roberts adds that http://berkshirerecordoutlet.com carries this label at $2 per CD. They list the set.  Phone for availability. Cost there is only $9.95, and they give more info: (Shipping can take a month or two, however.)
    Rachmaninov {Schumann Carnaval};  Lhevinne {Chopin Etude Op.25 #6  Strauss/Schulz Blue Danube};  Sofronitsky {Scriabin Poemes Op.32};   Michelangeli {Debussy Images Books 1 & 2};   Argerich {Liszt La Leggierezza;  Prokofiev Toccata};  Lamond {Liszt Sospiro, Liebestraum}; Rubinstein, Horowitz, Cortot {Chopin Sonata #2};  Moisiewitsch {Wagner/Liszt Tannhauser};  Friedman, Godowsky {2 Chopin Etudes};  Solomon, Lipatti {Schumann Concerto};  Schnabel et al. (Rec.1927-93)

    And for even more track detail, here's Gyorgy Sajo's newsgroup posting on 4/21/99.
NEW INFO Updated 9/28/01 - Here's a site with an excellent, very detailed listing of the contents of the 5-CD set, with licensing details.   Here's Brilliant Classic's statement (Joan Records) and menu.

Centenary Collection Vol 5 (1968-1977)
- Uni/Deutsche Grammophon - #459069 / November 10, 1998. Assorted composers, performers / 12-CD Box Set
Argerich's tracks include Chopins 24 Preludes, Opus 28, and the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 under Rostropovich.
    See Amazon editor and consumer reviews for info on other composers, performers, and works. 12 CDs in a box.
Centenary Collection Vol 6 (1978-1987)
Uni/Deutsche Grammophon - #459070 / November 10, 1998. Assorted composers, performers / 11-CD Box Set
Argerich's tracks include (1) the Mendelsohn Concerto for Piano and Violin in D minor, with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Gidon Kremer and (2) J.S. Bach's Sonatas (3) for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord , BWV 1027/1028/1029, with Mischa Maisky (not for the HIP-hearted but musical of course).
    See Amazon editor and consumer reviews for info on other composers, performers, and works. 11 CDs in a box.
Chopin - Complete Edition [ 17-CD Box Set ] Uni/Deutsche Grammophon - #463047 / October 12, 1999
Argerich's contributions: (1) Andante spianato et Grand polonaise brillante in E flat major, Opus 22 ; (2) Preludes (24) for Piano, Opus 28; (3) Prelude for Piano in C sharp minor, B 141/Opus 45; (4) Prelude for Piano in A flat major, B 86; (5) Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano in C major, Opus 3, with Rostropovich; (6) Introduction and Polonaise for Cello and Piano in C major, Opus 3, with Rostropovich.
    See Amazon editor and consumer reviews for info on other composers, performers, and works. The works with Rostropovich are exquisitely played.
    17 CDs in a box, but buyers can opt to get 2-CD sets from this box set separately.
Chopin:  Great Chopin Performers - Argerich, Harasiewicz
F. Chopin / Audio CD / Released 1993, Laserlight
Live recordings from the Chopin Competition, Warsaw. On this CD, Argerich plays the Piano Concerto #1 in e minor, Op. 11, Witold Rowicki conducting, as well as the Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39 in C# minor. The concerto is played (1965) with somewhat less spontaneity than in later years. Harasiewicz won first prize in 1955. At this price, I certainly bought each CD available from these competitions, a good chance to hear many who did well there and went on to concert careers.
MyMusic's: $3.90
Chopin:  Great Chopin Performers - Argerich, Pollini, Ohlsson
F. Chopin / Audio CD / Released 1993, Laserlight
Live recordings from the Chopin Competition, Warsaw. On this CD, Argerich plays the Etude from Op. 10, #1 (blazing and nervous, as would be expected); the Nocturne from Op. 55, #2 (one of the very few performances by Argerich that I'd not quite warmed to from the 60s, but in the 1981 Carnegie Hall solo-recital the interpretation had changed to become the most beautiful I've heard now ); and the Etude from Op. 10, #10. For collections like this, the price is hard to beat.
MyMusic's Price: $3.90
Chopin :  Great Chopin Performers - Fichman, Kentner, Gekic, Ekier
Frédéric Chopin(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1993, Laserlight - #14065,
Amazon's Price: $3.97 (8/01)   Also at MyMusic for $3.90     The CD includes Argerich's competition performance of Grand Valse Brillante Op. 34, #1 in A flat major. Dang Thai Son, who won the Gold Medal in 1980 was forgotten during the brouhaha over Ivo Pogorelich's early elimination; Son plays the Bacarolle Op. 60 in F# Major .
Chopin:  Great Chopin Performers [BOX SET]
Frédéric Chopin(Composer), et al / Audio 5-CD set / Released 1993, Laserlight, $15.90
5-CD set from Chopin Competitions through the years, Warsaw. Contains Argerich tracks mentioned above. Total cost at MyMusic is $15.90 (no sales tax) + shipping.
See shipping costs FAQ sheet. $5.97 Max Shipping cost for 3-10 discs, 3-10 type order is upgraded to "Quicker" delivery.
The Classic Christmas Album / Carreras, Norman, Domingo, etc
Jean Joseph Mouret(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1997
The Argerich contribution here: Nutcracker Suite, Opus 71a: no 7, Dance of the Reeds, by Tchaikovsky, played by Martha Argerich and Nicolas Economou on two pianos
The Classic Love Album / Pavarotti, Terfel, Argerich, et al
Giacomo Puccini(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1998
Another multiple-artist collection. The Argerich cut: Schumann's Kinderszenen, Opus 15: no 7, Träumerei. Again. But, with Terfel on another track, it may be worth investigating.
Favourite Piano Concertos Vol 2 - Grieg, Schumann, et al, , 2-CDs: 2 hrs 32 min
Robert Schumann(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1998
    Review - Classical Net
This 2-CD collection contains Argerich's Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 with Kondrashin, already available on the very essential Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 with Chailly.       Stephen Kovacevich plays the Grieg Concerto in A minor (I heard this on the car radio - very beautiful), as well as the Brahms Concerto #2 in B-flat Maj and the Schumann Concerto in A minor, all under Sir Colin Davis.   Also included is the Addinsell Warsaw Concerto, played by Misha Dichter under Marriner.
Amazon
CD Universe
      (See bottom of page for direct CD-Universe link to Argerich CDs there.)
Mad About Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach), Various / Audio CD / Released 1993
Another collection. The quick offering here is " Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 1 in G major, BWV 1027: 1st movement, Adagio" (the full sonata is on the Bach disc mentioned above).
Mad About Piano
Various composers / Audio CD / Released 1993
They've trotted out again Argerich's recording of Schumann's "Kinderszenen, Opus 15: no 7, Träumerei."
Mad About Romantic Piano
Claude Debussy(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1994
This one contains Argerich's recording of Schumann's "Kinderszenen, Opus 15: no 1, Von fremden Ländern und Menschen."

I was lucky enough to hear her play this as an encore after a Chopin PC #1 in Montreal in Oct.'96.  Transcendent - have seldom heard a hall that quiet.
      It does make me wish that pianists were allowed the freedom (that we give other instrumentalists playing one note at a time) to give recitals with sheet music before them so that we wouldn't miss solo playing of this rare caliber due to worry (such as Richter's) over a lapse of memory or fussing (such as Gould's) over "imperfect" renderings. We seem an audience waiting to be thrilled by a net-less trapeze act, when music should be the main focus. Richter decided to ignore the need of audiences for an aura of divine inspiration and gave them music instead. Why don't other pianists do this. We're really missing out, no thanks to the apparent audience appeal of Listzian theatrics, which tends to limit the recital programs of most pianists today.

NightMoods - Piano Dreams
Frédéric Chopin(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1997
The Argerich contributions:
Four of the Preludes(24) for Piano, Op. 28 - no. 4 in e minor; no. 6 in b minor, no. 7 in A major; no. 15 in d flat major "Raindrop" -- and the 2nd movement ("Romanze") of the Concerto for Piano #1 in e minor.
    **There are several 'NightMoods' albums, each on one composer. Search on "nightmoods" to see the others. Or, search on "nightmoods argerich" to see only those that include a track by her.**
NightMoods - Winter Dreams
Various composers(Composer), et al / Audio CD / Released 1997
The Argerich track here is the 2nd movement ("Andantino semplice") of the Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor by Tchaikowsky, from 1970, with Charles Dutoit.
    **There are several 'NightMoods' albums, each on one composer. Search on "nightmoods" to see the others. Or, search on "nightmoods argerich" to see only those that include a track by her.**




              Memory of a good musical moment



             

Beppu Festival, 1998

    Also from that festival, click to see
      a photo from Argerich's open masterclass




Top photograph: Copyright (c) Alex von Koettlitz, for EMI
Middle photograph probably a DG one.
Bottom photograph: "Argerich's Music Festival Beppu '98" - Japan , Nov 23-30, 1998



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