Prokofieff / Ravel - Martha Argerich / Berliner Philharmoniker / Claudio Abbado - Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 C-Dur / Klavierkonzert G-Dur
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Catalog#: 139 349
Format: Vinyl, LP
Record is VG++ (listen)
Cover: In Shrink, VG++
Prokofieff - Piano Concerto No 3
Konzert Für Klavier Und Orchester Nr. 3 C-Dur Op. 26
A1 Serge Prokofieff - 1. Satz: Andante - Allegro
A2 Serge Prokofieff - 2. Satz: Thema - Andantino
A3 Serge Prokofieff - 3. Satz: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
Konzert Für Klavier Und Orchester G-Dur
Ravel - Piano Concerto
B1 Maurice Ravel - 1. Satz: Allegramente
B2 Maurice Ravel - 2. Satz: Adagio Assai
B3 Maurice Ravel - 3. Satz: Presto
These performances established Martha Argerich as one of the most exciting and brilliant young pianists in the world. Thirty years on, they are still among the finest available. ..
In my opinion, this is THE Prokofiev 3rd Concerto to have. It is simply wildly breathtaking. Argerich does not use her formidable technique to show off what she has, but rather to benefit the music as a whole. The rhythmic drive is so intense that the orchestra - this is the Berlin Phil we are talking about here - have difficulty in keeping up with her. But nonetheless, they do a super job in accompanying her. She makes the piano sing, playing notes as if she was singing. The sheer energy of this pianist is amazing. In her debut recording for EMI, she was said to have taken several cups of black coffee before entering the studio to record. Perhaps she did the same thing for this recording? Anyway, the way she interacts with the orchestra is most uncanny. Great performers have the ability to listen to others, but Argerich has the ability to almost accompany the orchestra (!) when necessary.
The piece sounds as a whole, not as individual movements, in my opinion, which is great: that way it fully keeps the listener's attention.
She lets rip in the last movement and the result is unbelievably improvisatory, but she maintains tension and control in the movement, and indeed the whole concerto. I think tension is one of the main keys to playing this concerto well. Otherwise it sounds technical, not musical. The Prokofiev ends spectacularly.
Then comes the Ravel concerto in G. It is very jazzy, and Argerich's version has rarely been surpassed. I think that has a lot to do with her improvisatory approach to music. Someone commented that she is a true improvisor, in the tradition of Liszt, but unlike her predecessor, she never tampers with the notes itself. Here, that improvisatory approach really works, and it never for a moment sounded dull or repetetive. Abbado seems in full agreement with Argerich and it is another successful recording. After the wonderful concerti, the Gaspard de la nuit. It is a notoriously difficult piece, but Argerich makes it sound dead easy, as usual. She is said to have learned the piece in less than five days when her one-time teacher Friedrich Gulda, told her to master the piece in five days. She says that it was easy because she didn't know it was supposed to be difficult! Well, that certainly comes across, and she gives a very pictorial account of the work that borders on the frightening.
I doubt it will ever have serious competition with future versions. Stunning.
Martha Argerich/Charles Groves interview snippet
Martha Argerich Tribute