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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3
     

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

5.0 1
by Martha Argerich
 
Martha Argerich is famous for her aversion to being at the center of musical attention, but also for the brilliance with which she occupies the spotlight whenever she acquiesces to do so. She also prefers to concentrate on a relatively small body of piano music, and therefore it's automatically a major event when she adds an important

Overview

Martha Argerich is famous for her aversion to being at the center of musical attention, but also for the brilliance with which she occupies the spotlight whenever she acquiesces to do so. She also prefers to concentrate on a relatively small body of piano music, and therefore it's automatically a major event when she adds an important work to her recorded repertoire. On this occasion, she finally shares her thoughts on Beethoven's Third Concerto, in a live performance from February 2004. It was well worth the wait. In the concerto's slow movement, Argerich virtually suspends the flow of time with her dreamy and sensitively phrased ruminations, while her ever-amazing technique is dramatically on display in the remainder of the work. Claudio Abbado -- who also conducted some of Argerich's first and finest concerto recordings in the 1960s and '70s -- is at the podium here once again, allowing his soloist to set the pace and tone but also perfectly bringing out the orchestral details to complement her. Argerich and Abbado are also heard here in a live recording of Beethoven's Second Concerto from 2000. More classically refined and less overtly heroic than the Third, this work has been a staple of Argerich's career, yet few will want to miss her latest return to it. From the deliriously fleet fingerwork of the opening movement (and a thrilling tear through the cadenza) through the serene Adagio to another playfully virtuosic workout in the finale, the pianist is at the top of her game. Most live recordings these days edit out the audience's reaction, but this one preserves the thunderous ovations after both concertos -- a richly deserved tribute to Argerich's uniquely commanding artistry at the keyboard.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Listen to this disc. It is the reason recordings exist. First: the repertoire -- Beethoven's C minor and B flat major piano concertos -- is among the greatest ever composed. Second: the pianist -- Martha Argerich -- is among the greatest living pianists. Third: the conductor -- Claudio Abbado -- is among, no, simply is the greatest living conductor. Fourth: Argerich and Abbado have known each other almost 40 years and the affectionate and sympathetic performances on this disc are a testimony to the strength of their musical relationship. Fifth: while Argerich's previous recording of Beethoven's B flat concerto with Sinopoli was light and lively, this one with Abbado is lovely and delightful. Sixth: while she has recorded Beethoven's B flat major concerto before, Argerich has never recorded Beethoven's C minor concerto before. Seventh: this is one of the deepest, most dramatic, most virtuosic, and most passionate performances of the C minor concerto ever recorded. Eighth: the Mahler Chamber Orchestra -- no longer the newest European chamber orchestra -- has grown into a brilliant and cohesive ensemble, an ensemble that follows Argerich and Abbado with precision and panache. Ninth: Deutsche Grammophon's live sound is absolutely immediate and unbelievably vivid. Tenth: this disc is surely one of the great classical recordings released in 2004.
Gramophone - Bryce Morrison
[January 2005 CD of the Month] Both performances are of a quality rarely encountered at any time or from any artist.... Every note and phrase seems to spring new-minted from the page.... This greatest of all living pianists resolves every thought and consideration in playing of an enthralling spontaneity.
BBC Online - Andrew MacGregor
When it says Martha Argerich on the cover, you know that there'll be nothing routine or run-of-the-mill inside. Expect the unexpected...in this case, performances of two of the great classical concertos that overflow with life, imagination, courage and colour, plus an apparently limitless appetite for discovery.... In an ideal world, Beethoven would always feel as shockingly fresh as this.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/09/2004
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947750260
catalogNumber:
000339802
Rank:
18096

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Martha Argerich plays like a magician.In the Allegro con brio of Piano concerto no.3, the ochestra takes the limelight for first 3 min. or so & once Argerich starts putting her fingers on the piano, she casts a spell you will never want to end.Rondo.Allegro spontaneous and lyrical movements with the solo & ochestra exchanging a give and take sound,is just beautiful.By the time Rondo.Molto Allegro of the 2nd Piano concerto moves towards the finish, a listener knows where the music is going, leading a lovely climax followed by a live applause.Actually once one has heard these readings one might not want to hear any other version.Clauddio Abbado gives plenty of room for the solo to shine with a slightly restrained ochestration sound that does not inhibit the beauty of the solo part.It is stated that Argerich recorded 4 different versions of these works during the reheasal(all recorded)before the performance of the these live compositions.Both BBC and Gramophone classical magazines voted this CD as one of the best ever recorded piano concertos.