Martha Argerich: Evening Talks!
Watching this DVD was a really fascinating experience for me: I was able to get to know an artist who rarely allows any interviews. Martha Argerich talked about her background, her teachers, her feelings toward Schumann, Prokofiev, Ravel, and others.
I learned that she studied with Austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda for a year and a half when she was 13; and she tells us what an influence he had on her. We hear lots of excerpts from her concerts at age 16 and 17… and later on, as well…
She comes across as a somewhat coquettish and funny lady now. It was really humorous to hear her tell the story of the time many years ago when she cancelled a concert, just to see what it would be like. It is also amazing how she talks about her connection with composers: “Prokofiev is fond of me…”; “I was comfortable with Ravel; I think he likes me…”
We see her dialog with conductor Joerg Faerber… how she explains to him that the Schumann piano concerto cannot be played in strict tempo but requires the freedom of interpretation… Even the orchestra’s concertmaster quickly understands how she would like the orchestra to support her.
There are some amazing, funny, and enjoyable scenes of Martha Argerich performing Piazzola’s Libertango with two other musicians. And she also says that “playing Bach puts me at ease…” when she plays it first at a concert…
This is a very worthwhile DVD, which provides great insight into Argerich, the artist.
Here are Martha Argerich and Charles Dutoit in 1972:
Click below to hear Argerich play Chopin and Piazzola:
Here Argerich plays the Bach’s Partita #2 at the Verbier Festival, 2008: