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2.8.05

Martha Argerich

Martha Argerich at the pianoArgentinian pianist Martha Argerich has made a (relatively) rare appearance at the Festival International de Piano de la Roque d'Anthéron, in southern France (now in its 25th year, arguably the most important piano festival in the world), as I saw and heard briefly on the evening news from France 2. For a concert in honor of her teacher, Friedrich Gulda, she performed on July 29 with young musicians Renaud Capuçon (violin) and Gautier Capuçon (cello) and the Orchestre Symphonique de Flandre, conducted by Alexandre Rabinovitch. André Delacroix had the good fortune to be there to review the concert (Nuit du piano: Martha Argerich rend hommage à Friedrich Gulda, July 31) for ResMusica.com (my translation):

The evening of July 29 will remain in all our memories. And Martha Argerich did not cancel her appearance at the last minute. The audience crowded in to see the "diva with the golden fingers." It was not disappointed. She has defied, once again, the laws of virtuosity and brought the audience to its feet. She joined her body to the instrument, embraced it, grappled with it with stunning mastery. Her fingers glided over the keyboard in a fascinating ballet and toyed with the most difficult passages. She does not live music, she is music, a dream of light and perfection. With no useless effects, with noble sobriety and a remarkable economy of means, she took on Prokofiev's magnificent first piano concerto, created by the composer in August 1912 in Moscow and for which he won first prize two years later at the Rubinstein competition. With clear rhythm and absolutely brilliant phrasing, Martha Argerich brought us into the poetry and depth of this marvelous alternation of slow, dreamy, and sometimes troubling episodes, often cutting, full of energy and rage.
I think he liked it. One of Martha Argerich's avocations these days is to support young musicians. She sat down a 16-year-old pianist named Adriel Gomez Mansur in her place, where he played some Schumann, Rachmaninov, and Scriabin. She also performed, to conclude the concert, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Capuçon brothers on the string parts. I would have liked to have heard that.

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