Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor, Op.11 / Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124 Martha Argerich

Cover Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor, Op.11 / Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124

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  • Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849): Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr.1 e-moll op. 11
  • 11. Allegro maestoso18:54
  • 22. Romance (Larghetto)10:04
  • 33. Rondo (Vivace)09:08
  • Franz Liszt (1811-1886): Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr.1 Es-dur
  • 41. Allegro maestoso05:05
  • 52. Quasi adagio - Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato08:27
  • 63. Allegro marziale animato04:02
  • Total Runtime55:40

Info for Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor, Op.11 / Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124

Classical masterpiece: Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt were both piano virtuosi of the highest order. So it's no surprise to find that their concertos were composed as vehicles for them to flaunt their digital wizardry -- though the two masters strutted their stuff in very different ways. Chopin adored the bel canto operas of Bellini and Donizetti, and both his concertos are like extended operatic scenes in which the piano acts the role of the prima donna, and the pianist is required to play the music with a limpid, singing tone and supple phrasing. Liszt's performances were much more of a spectacle; supposedly, his bravura displays had similar effect on women as Elvis Presley's gyrating hips would about a century later. In his Concerto No. 1, the pianist must thunder up and down the keyboard as well as dazzle in dizzying flurries of notes. In both concertos, the orchestra is there primarily to provide a solid, ornamental frame for the soloist. Martha Argerich's playing probably would have knocked the socks off of Chopin, Liszt, or any other 19th-century virtuoso, for that matter. She can thunder and dazzle with the best of 'em -- and she does so thrillingly in this performance of the Liszt Concerto. She also plays Chopin with melting beauty, which is perhaps one reason why this recording helped to gain Argerich a cultlike following.

„There has never been a more exciting pianist that Martha Argerich. Throughout her career, any appearance by her guarantees sellout crowds and an evening of memorable, not to say insane, music making. She has always drastically limited her repertoire--about a dozen concertos, a few more solo and chamber works--and will not perform or record solo recitals at all any more. But every single thing that she has recorded is a prime recommendation, plain and simple. She's one of the very few artists whose recordings one should collect just because of whom she is: unique and incomparable. These two concertos perfectly illustrate her gifts as an interpreter. Your ears will be glued to your speakers.“ (David Hurwitz)

“Here is beautifully projected playing, the emotional quality of the music judged to a poetic nicety, the bravura never gratuitous. Between them Argerich and Abbado generate a heady world of romance and electricity.” (BBC Music Magazine)

“These performances, in DG's beautifully refurbished sound, remain as fanciful and coruscating as the day they were made. Argerich's fluency and re-creative spark dazzle and dumbfound to a unique degree but, given her reputation for fireeating virtuosity, it's perhaps necessary to say that both performances quiver with rare sensitivity as well as drama. Time and again she gives a telling and haunting poetic counterpoint to her, arguably, more familiar way of trailing clouds of virtuoso glory. Abbado partners his mercurial soloist as to the manner born, finding (in the Chopin in particular) a burgeoning sense of wonder where others sound dry and foursquare.” (Gramophone Classical Music Guide)

Martha Argerich, piano
London Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor

Martha Argerich
was born in Buenos Aires. From the age of five, she took piano lessons with Vicenzo Scaramuzza. In 1955 she went to Europe with her family, and received tuition from Friedrich Gulda in Vienna; her teachers also included Nikita Magaloff and Stefan Askenase. Following her first prizes in the piano competitions in Bolzano and Geneva in 1957, she embarked on an intensive programme of concerts. Her victory in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1965 was a decisive step on her path to worldwide recognition.

Martha Argerich rose to fame with her interpretations of the virtuoso piano literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. But she does not regard herself as a specialist in 'virtuoso' works - her repertoire ranges from Bach through Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy and Ravel, to Bartók.

Martha Argerich has worked as a concert pianist with many famous conductors. She has also attached great importance to chamber music ever since, at the age of 17, she accompanied the violinist Joseph Szigeti - two generations older than herself. She has toured Europe, America and Japan with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky and has also recorded much of the repertory for four hands and for two pianos with the pianists Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Nicolas Economou and Alexandre Rabinovitch. Martha Argerich has performed at Gidon Kremer's festival in Lockenhaus, at the Munich Piano Summer, the Lucerne Festival and at the Salzburg Festival, where she gave, for instance, a recital with Mischa Maisky in 1993.

She appeared with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic at the 1992 New Year's Eve Concert with Strauss's Burleske and also at the Salzburg Festival at Easter 1993. May 1998 saw the long-awaited musical 'summit meeting' between Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky and Gidon Kremer. On the occasion of a memorial concert for the impresario Reinhard Paulsen, the three artists came together in Japan, where they performed piano trios by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (recorded live by DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON). In March 2000 Martha Argerich gave her first great solo appearance in almost 20 years in New York's Carnegie Hall.

Martha Argerich has close ties with DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, dating back to 1967. She has recorded prolifically during this period: solo works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt and Schumann; concerto recordings of works by Chopin, Liszt, Ravel and Prokofiev with Claudio Abbado, Beethoven with Giuseppe Sinopoli, and Stravinsky's Les Noces with Leonard Bernstein. Her recording of Shostakovich's First and Haydn's Eleventh Piano Concertos with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn conducted by Jörg Färber was crowned with the Tokyo RECORD ACADEMY AWARD in 1995 and that of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded the CD COMPACT AWARD in 1997.

She has also dedicated herself to chamber music, and has recorded works by Schumann and Chopin with Mstislav Rostropovich, and cello sonatas by both Bach and Beethoven with Mischa Maisky. She has made numerous successful recordings with Gidon Kremer, such as violin sonatas by Schumann and works by Bartók, Janácek and Messiaen (PRIX CAECILIA 1991), and Mendelssohn's concerto for violin and piano with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Their recording of Prokofiev sonatas and melodies received the 1992 Tokyo RECORD ACADEMY AWARD, the DIAPASON D'OR 1992 and the EDISON AWARD 1993. One of their most outstanding recording achievements was that of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas (Nos.1-3: RECORD ACADEMY AWARD 1985), which was concluded with the release of the Sonatas op. 47 'Kreutzer' and op. 96 in 1995. Among her more recent releases is the above-mentioned live recording of piano trios by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky with Mischa Maisky and Gidon Kremer.

Martha Argerich takes a great supportive interest in young artists. In September 1999 the first International 'Martha Argerich' Piano Competition took place in Buenos Aires - a competition which does not only carry her name but in which she is president of the jury. In November 1999 the second 'Martha Argerich Music Festival' took place in southern Japan, with concerts and masterclasses being given not only by Martha Argerich but also by Mischa Maisky and Nelson Freire among others.

Booklet for Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Minor, Op.11 / Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124

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