Rec.Music.Classical.Recordings newsgroup reports


-1-------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jeffrey Friedman (jff@ix.netcom.com)
Subject: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/26 
 
First the concert: a truly memorable evening of wonderful
music making.  Argerich played the Bach Partita #2, which
I enjoyed Andras Schiff playing in NY last month, but Argerich 
was a revelation, bringing out parts
of the counterpoint I never heard before, with all parts
_singing_.  The Chopin Barcarolle was a tour de force,
the Scherzo #3 a touch on the fast side.  Though I am not
a fan of the Prokofiev Sonata #7, Argerich owns this piece
and made a great case for it - spectacular playing.
She pulled the Juilliard Quartet along into a first rate
playing of the Schumann Quintet (the best parts for me
were where you could almost hear her dragging them along).
Then the Ravel La Valse with Nelson Freire, to my ears
even better than on the older performance just released on
DVD.  Two encores with Freire (what where they, anyone?).
With an even longer wilder ovation than she got a week and
a half ago, not even turning out the stage lights worked
to quiet the audience down, they finally had to send out
a guy to shut down the piano, and she still got a call or
two more.

RMCR was out in force, almost 20 met pre-concert at the
appointed poster.  Pictures to go up on my web site by
tomorrow night (URL to follow).  Extra points to whoever can
identify the unnamed (hey, I didn't take notes and I 
don't remember names good, okay?).  See Jeremy Cook
receive the ceremonial jar of Marmite.  Soon.


Jeffrey F. Friedman
jeff@friedman.com
jff@ix.netcom.com


-2-------------------------------------------------------------
From: John H (jgxxh@netcom.ca)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/26 
 

Got there too late for the picture -- a couple of hundred people on
the sidewalk, couldn't figure out who looked most like internet geeks.

Stunning show -- though I thought it took her about half the Bach to
get organized..

A touch fast in the Chopin Scherzo? Land speed record, I'm thinnking.
Did anyone have a stopwatch on her?

John Harkness


-3-------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jeremy Cook (jeremy_cook@my-deja.com)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/27 
 

In article <20000326202952.01940.00009026@ng-dc1.aol.com>,
eshtooter@aol.com (ESH Tooter) wrote:
> I planned to be there. I wanted to be there. However, threatened rain
> for a two hour drive and no ticket discouraged me at the last minute.
> Alas, later in the day I saw a posting here for a ticket. It would
> have been fun to meet some of you, and, of course, there was the
> concert too.

FWIW, there were scads of people outside of Carnegie Hall flashing
their cash, offering $500 and more per ticket.  Didn't see anyone
selling, though.


-4-------------------------------------------------------------
From: Carl Tait (tait@diamond.cs.columbia.edu)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/27 
 

Euphoric, stunned disbelief.

That's been the near-universal reaction to Argerich's momentous
concert last night.  This was music making on a level several
notches above almost anything else to be heard today.  Portions
of the recital were so astounding that they are difficult to
describe: my usually-articulate piano teacher was standing in
the lobby after the concert looking mildly dazed and saying
"Phenomenal, just phenomenal."

The (minor) gripes first: the Bach C minor Partita had hard-edged
tone in the opening Grave, but that's the way Argerich likes it
-- it's the same in her recording.  The Chopin C# minor Scherzo
was way too fast in the "How dry I am" sections, but it was
hard to care, especially given the beautiful shaping of the
E minor episode and subsequent glorious build-up into the coda.
The Schumann Quintet, as a whole, was less successful than the
rest of the program: the Juilliard Quartet had some serious
intonation problems in the first movement, and their blend
with the piano was never ideal.  (They may have been painfully
aware that virtually everyone in the hall would have preferred
to hear more *solo* performances.)

As for the accolades, choose your favorite laudatory adjective
and it will probably apply.  Argerich is a master of every aspect
of great piano playing.  Her sense of balance was particularly
acute last night: voices and lines emerged with shimmering
clarity at precisely the right moments.  Oddly enough, this was
most noticeable in her staggering Prokofiev Seventh Sonata:
huge power without banging, rhythmic precision without sounding
mechanical, and intense clarity of textures that illuminated
unfamiliar aspects of the piece.  The last two pages were
literally beyond belief: they *cannot* be played with such
simultaneous abandon and control; ferocity and ringing tone;
spontaneity and architectural projection; wildness and lucidity.

The concluding performance of Ravel's "La Valse" with Nelson Freire
was played to such attentive silence that one might have thought
the hall was empty.  When the magnificent performance ended, the
silence was replaced with the frenetic screams and applause of
thousands.  Argerich, as always, appeared appreciative but almost
embarrassed by the furor.  After a near-riot of stomping and cheers,
Argerich and Freire returned to play two encores that Jeremy Cook
has already identified (the Waltz from Rachmaninoff's Second Suite
and "Laideronnette" from Ravel's Mother Goose Suite).

Returning to earth, the pre-concert r.m.c.r. photo session was a treat 
as well.  It was fun to attach familiar names to unfamiliar faces.
Jeffrey, thanks for posting your pictures so quickly (and for taking
them in the first place!); here are a few IDs of Mystery Folks.
I add my own apologies for the names I don't remember; given the
circumstances, it's amazing I remember any at all.

2. A is Neil McKelvie
5. D is Jeremy from the side (and me looking caught in the headlights)
6. E is Chloe Pajerek (also in 8 and 9)
10. ??? is Paul Geffen
12. ?? (and 13. ?? #1) are Neil McKelvie again

-- 
Carl Tait                 IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
cdtait@us.ibm.com         Hawthorne, NY  10532


-5-------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jeremy Cook (jeremy_cook@my-deja.com)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/27 

In article <8bn9q0$i84@diamond.cs.columbia.edu>,
tait@diamond.cs.columbia.edu (Carl Tait) wrote:
> Euphoric, stunned disbelief.
>
> That's been the near-universal reaction to Argerich's momentous
> concert last night. This was music making on a level several
> notches above almost anything else to be heard today. Portions
> of the recital were so astounding that they are difficult to
> describe: my usually-articulate piano teacher was standing in
> the lobby after the concert looking mildly dazed and saying
> "Phenomenal, just phenomenal."
>
> The (minor) gripes first: the Bach C minor Partita had hard-edged
> tone in the opening Grave, but that's the way Argerich likes it
> -- it's the same in her recording.

I thought she was a bit nervous for the first minute or two, and that
may have contributed as well.  I should add that I dream of playing one
one-hundredth as well in the privacy of my music room!

> The Chopin C# minor Scherzo
> was way too fast in the "How dry I am" sections, but it was
> hard to care, especially given the beautiful shaping of the
> E minor episode and subsequent glorious build-up into the coda.

Yes, it was more Argerich than Chopin.  Too amazing to make me complain.

> The Schumann Quintet, as a whole, was less successful than the
> rest of the program: the Juilliard Quartet had some serious
> intonation problems in the first movement, and their blend
> with the piano was never ideal. (They may have been painfully
> aware that virtually everyone in the hall would have preferred
> to hear more *solo* performances.)

Among the throng of friends that went with me was my chamber music
partner (a cellist).  She described the Schumann as "highly
professional sight-reading," since they had so much trouble maintaining
smooth ensemble.  Was anyone else as distracted as we were by the
sideshow put on by the first violin?  His wild physical gyrations let
me to believe that he thought "St. Vitus' Dance" was on the program.  I
had to close my eyes, as my fear that his chair would slip out from
under him and send him crashing to the floor made it hard to
concentrate on the music.

[remainder of review snipped]

Carl, thanks for the insightful review.  To the rest of your comments,
I can't add a thing.  I remain in a stupor over the experience.


-6------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jeremy Cook (jeremy_cook@my-deja.com)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/26 
 

In article <8bkbvk$2q1$1@slb7.atl.mindspring.net>,
Jeffrey Friedman  wrote:
> First the concert: a truly memorable evening of wonderful
> music making. Argerich played the Bach Partita #2, which
> I enjoyed Andras Schiff playing in NY last month, but Argerich
> was a revelation, bringing out parts
> of the counterpoint I never heard before, with all parts
> _singing_. The Chopin Barcarolle was a tour de force,
> the Scherzo #3 a touch on the fast side. Though I am not
> a fan of the Prokofiev Sonata #7, Argerich owns this piece
> and made a great case for it - spectacular playing.

I would not have been surprised if the piano had begun to levitate
during the final movement of the Prokofiev.  It was almost terrifying
to see and hear such supervoltage virtuosity dispensed with such ease.
I can't put much more into words about the program just yet, as I am
still trying to digest this incredible experience.

> She pulled the Juilliard Quartet along into a first rate
> playing of the Schumann Quintet (the best parts for me
> were where you could almost hear her dragging them along).
> Then the Ravel La Valse with Nelson Freire, to my ears
> even better than on the older performance just released on
> DVD. Two encores with Freire (what where they, anyone?).

I believe the two-piano encore was the Valse from Rachmaninoff's Suite
No. 2, Op. 17.  The one-piano four hands duet that they concluded with
was "Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas" from Ravels' "Mother Goose"
suite.  Interestingly, such was the euphoria (near-hysteria in some
corners of the hall) following "La Valse", that afterwards many swore
that they had played three encores, not two.  And to be honest, I was
so intoxicated by the experience that I only remember two, yet I cannot
swear that there was not a third encore (before the Rachmaninoff).
Hopefully someone who was not quite so overwhelmed as I was will be
able to settle the question.

> With an even longer wilder ovation than she got a week and
> a half ago, not even turning out the stage lights worked
> to quiet the audience down, they finally had to send out
> a guy to shut down the piano, and she still got a call or
> two more.

The guy who had the unenviable task of closing the piano was booed with
almost as much gusto as Argerich et al were cheered.

> RMCR was out in force, almost 20 met pre-concert at the
> appointed poster. Pictures to go up on my web site by
> tomorrow night (URL to follow). Extra points to whoever can
> identify the unnamed (hey, I didn't take notes and I
> don't remember names good, okay?). See Jeremy Cook
> receive the ceremonial jar of Marmite. Soon.

I will cherish it always. :-)


-7---------------------------------------------------------
From: Bob Reith (rareith@aol.comnospam)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/27 
 

Time to chime in.

I was mesmerized by the playing of Argerich.  Of all the reviews I've read,
including the one by James Oestreich in today's NY Times (www.nytimes.com),
Carl's reflected most closely what I heard (thanks, Carl, for putting into
words what I could not).

Jeremy's correct about the 1st violinist of the Julliard.  What a visual
distraction (despite the fact that we went to *hear* the Schumann)!

Sadly, I missed the encores. It was already quite late, by recital standards,
when the ovations transited into the first encore.  The friend I was with is a
top-notch violin teacher who is also wheelchair bound.  When we discovered that
the Carnegie elevator had broken, that confirmed the decision to leave for I
had parked in a parking garage up near his apartment (around the 100's) and the
garage was closing at 11:30.  As it was we didn't get there until 11 pm.  Had I
gotten there too late (likely after two encores)... well, it would have been
interesting.

Thanks, Jeff, for posting the pix.

Bob


-8------------------------------------------------------------
From: Roger Behrend (behrend@insti.physics.sunysb.edu)
Subject: Re: RMCR: A Night on the town w/Martha Argerich 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (66 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/27 
 

I'm a Vegemite-eating Australian living near NY who attended the
Argerich concert so I feel compelled to contribute to this thread.

Re: Vegemite, I usually get it in NY at Dean and DeLuca's.

Re: the concert, I agree with Carl Tait's eloquent and insightful
review.  This was the first time I'd heard Argerich live and I think
that all the superlatives being applied are justified.  Her playing in
the first half of the programme seemed truly incandescent.  In
particular, her passionate rendition of the formidable Prokofiev
sonata was unforgettable.  I thought the only weak-point in the
concert was the Schumann quintet, in which the playing of the
Juilliard Quartet seemed somewhat lacklustre and where I especially
felt that the outer movements could have been infused with more verve
and energy.

Re: the rmcr get-together, it was good to meet some of you.  Also, if
any of you hear of any other not-to-be-missed concerts in NY, feel
free to let me know.  My cultural antennae are usually fairly well
focussed, but unfortunately there's often also a lot of interference
from an excess of work, so some events do escape my attention.

Roger


-9-------------------------------------------------------------
From: Bevan Davies (bevandavies@worldnet.att.net)
Subject: Re: Prokofiev piano sonatas 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (88 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/31 
 

THE most electrifying performance of the 7th piano sonata that I've heard
was played last weekend at Carnegie, by Martha Argerich.  I don't know if
I'd care to listen to it every day, but it was just a monster of romantic
interpretation.

Bevan Davies


-10------------------------------------------------------------
From: Andrys D Basten (andrys@netcom.com)
Subject: Re: Prokofiev piano sonatas 
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical.recordings
View: Complete Thread (88 articles) | Original Format 
Date: 2000/03/31 
 

In article ,
Bevan Davies  wrote:
>THE most electrifying performance of the 7th piano sonata that I've heard
>was played last weekend at Carnegie, by Martha Argerich.  I don't know if
>I'd care to listen to it every day, but it was just a monster of romantic
>interpretation.

  I don't know that I'd care to listen to anything every day :)

  I have heard several of her 7ths in old live concerts and have
never been knocked out by any of them but it took me some time
to recuperate from the one last Saturday and I'm not sure I
have.
 
  Extremely gripping, while often very ethereal and internal. 
I've just never heard a rendition that made so much sense in the
first two movements, so that the return to the basic 2nd
movement theme that ordinarily annoys me was magical, like a
wistful but deep memory revisited.

   I didn't hear the chord clusters as banged and dissonant but
as parts of chordal melodies under which several other melodies
were competing, all resolving appropriately.  The last section
of that 2nd movement I never expect to hear done that well again
as it seemed almost superhuman. An incredibly intense
performance beautifully structured.

 - A