Martha Argerich – Live From Concertgebouw 78-79: Schumann, Ravel (1999) [Japan 2011]
SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 51:16 minutes | Basic Covers | 2,06 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Basic Covers | 951 MB
This is the 3rd of a series of live performances given in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam by Martha Argerich. The concerts date from 1978 & 1979 & offer the record collector the opportunity to compare & contrast Argerich the recitalist at that time with Argerich the accompanist now.
It is as important to forget the relatively low playing time of the present disc as it is to forget the occasional splatter of wrong notes. Freed from the studio, Argerich gives her imagination absolutely full rein. Her strong affinity with Schumann is evident throughout her account of the Fantasiestьcke, in which she demonstrates a near miraculous ability to capture the essence of each of the individual movements. What’s more, Schumann’s unpredictable mood shifts & extreme sense of fantasy seem to strike a chord with Argerich’s own persona: the sections of ‘Fabel’, for example, are unapologetically contrasted. Schumann’s ornamentation comes across as if improvised. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this performance is the last movement, in which Argerich paces Schumann’s cumulative, obsessive repetitions to perfection.
Argerich seems to elevate the stature of Ravel’s diminutive Sonatine. She accords the 2nd movement, ‘Mouvement de menuet’, an egg-shell delicacy: in fact throughout her lightened tone is entirely appropriate. But it is Gaspard that finds her at her most inspired. Perhaps what is most awe-inspiring about this is that no matter how tough the going gets pianistically (& it gets pretty tough), the texture is never over-burdened so that the level of detail that comes across is nothing short of revelatory. Argerich’s tonal variety is 1 of her strongest points, & nowhere is this better demonstrated than in ‘Le gibet’, that enormous test of keyboard control. Despite some obtrusive audience noise at the beginning of ‘Scarbo’, Argerich ensures that this is a jaw-dropping experience, right from the gestural sweep of the earlier passages. A salutary reminder of just what Argerich was capable of in her then-chosen guise as keyboard giant.
01. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Des Abends
02. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Aufschwung
03. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Warum?
04. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Grillen
05. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: In der nacht
06. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Fabel
07. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Traumes wirren
08. Robert Schumann: Fantasiestucke Op. 12: Ende von Lied
09. Maurice Ravel: Sonatine: Modere
10. Maurice Ravel: Sonatine: Mouvement de menuet
11. Maurice Ravel: Sonatine: Anime
12. Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit: I. Ondine (Lent)
13. Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit: II. Le Gibet (Tres lent)
14. Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit: III. Scarbo (Modere – Vif)
Recorded in May 1978 & April 1979.
Digitally Remastered. EMI Japan # TOGE-11074