This CD was recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, and it features Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire in a terrific program. The works by Schubert, Brahms, Rachmaninov and Ravel that they perform at the piano are all better known in their orchestral versions, but each composition was arranged for two pianos by the composer.
The program consists of:
- Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn
- Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic dances
- La Valse, by Maurice Ravel.
- Schubert’s Grand Rondo D. 951
Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire give us perfect phrasing and the wonder of musical invention that I admire so much in Brahms’ Variations. The Symphonic Dances of Rachmaninov is an exciting showpiece, and Argerich shows her pianistic excellence and her passion for this music. The main factor is that we can see two musicians in perfect synch, able to merge even the most difficult passages into a single, cohesive whole. This is Rachmaninov’s music that is second to none.Schubert’s Grand Rondo D. 951 is one of the composer’s extensive four-hand works. Here Argerich and Freire are delightfully light and spontaneous, with a sensitive touch that allows us to hear the full beauty of this music.
Ravel’s La Valse is best known in its orchestral version. The music presents a Viennese ballroom, hidden in the clouds, and over time, the Waltz emerges more and more clearly from its veiled beginning. Argerich and Freire are very effective in weaving Ravel’s mystery, and they do this with amazing effects, showing us the cross-rhythms and Waltz’s hesitations so seamlessly that your attention doesn’t wander off.
The playing of all these pieces is technically flawless, and the listener benefits with outstanding enjoyment of these masterpieces. Here are 5 minutes of Ravel’s La Valse, recorded in Salzburg: