Argerich Performs!

Argerich performs at Verbier

Martha Argerich is one of my favorite pianists. My sense is that the reasons are her energy, her amazing precision and technique, and her commitment to musical expression. And… all these qualities make her an ideal performer to give us the music of Bach!

The Verbier Festival, in Switzerland, is an annual festival that includes some of some of the biggest names in classical music. There is a good deal of chamber music featuring these musicians who come together to make music with each other.

This DVD features one of the leading members at Verbier, the extraordinary pianist Martha Argerich in appearances recorded live at the 2007 and 2008 Festivals.

This DVD includes:

Bach: Partita No. 2 (Argerich)
Mozart: Andante and Five Variations in G Major, K.501 (Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich, piano four hands)
Grieg: Cello Sonata, Op. 36 (Argerich and Mischa Maisky)
Bartók: Violin Sonata No. 1, Sz75 (Argerich and Renaud Capuçon)
Lutoslawski: Variations on a Theme of Paganini (Argerich and Gabriela Montero, two pianos)
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57 (Argerich, J. Bell and Henning Kraggerud, violins, Yuri Bashmet, viola, and Mischa Maisky, cello)

The music program on this DVD is quite diversified, ranging from the Bach composed in the 1700’s to the Lutoslawski, whose music is, of course, a lot more current. Keep in mind that the performers are all either stars, or emerging stars, so you’re in for an enjoyable time.

The finale of this DVD is a masterful performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet. Here, the musicians are all-stars. The Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud is not as well known as his colleagues, but he’s really outstanding, too. This is a performance that is intense and as such well suited for Ms. Argarich’s temperament.

Click below if you’d like to see and hear a brief YouTube extract of Ms. Argerich’s playing.

Bach Partita No. 2 – Verbier Festival 2008

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