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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Best wishes to all of you,
Photos Copyright ©2000-2001 Jeff Friedman