Tchaikovsky's First Concerto has already appeared twice on disc from Martha Argerich in complementary performances: live and helterskelter on Philips with Kondrashin (reviewed under Rachmaninov),... — Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
Work length32:02 Martha Argerich (piano) Berliner Philharmoniker Claudio Abbado Recorded: 1994-12-10 Recording Venue: Grosser Saal, Berlin Philharmonie
I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Allegro con spirito
II. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Work length21:05 Martha Argerich (piano), Nicolas Economou (piano) Recorded: 1983-03-05 Recording Venue: Residenz, Herkulessaal, Munich
I. Ouverture miniature: Allegro giusto
IIa. Danses caractéristiques. Marche: Tempo di marcia viva
IIb. Danses caractéristiques. Danse de la Fée Dragée: Andante non troppo
Track length2:01 Show 5 remaining tracks for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
IIc. Danses caractéristiques. Danse russe Trépak: Tempo di Trepak, molto vivace
IId. Danses caractéristiques. Danse arabe: Allegretto
IIe. Danses caractéristiques. Danse chinoise: Allegro moderato
IIf. Danses caractéristiques. Danse des mirlitons: Moderato assai
III. Valse des Fleurs: Tempo di valse
Track length6:21 Hide 5 tracks for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Tchaikovsky's First Concerto has already appeared twice on disc from Martha Argerich in complementary performances: live and helterskelter on Philips with Kondrashin (reviewed under Rachmaninov), studio and magisterial with Dutoit on DG. Now, finely recorded, here's a third, live recording with the BPO and Claudio Abbado surpassing even those earlier and legendary performances. Argerich has never sounded on better terms with the piano, more virtuoso yet engagingly human. Lyrical and insinuating, to a degree her performance seems to be made of the tumultuous elements themselves, of fire and ice, rain and sunshine. The Russians may claim this concerto for themselves, but even they will surely listen in disbelief, awed and – dare one say it – a trifle piqued. Listen to Argerich's Allegro con spirito, as the concerto gets under way, where her darting crescendos and diminuendos make the triplet rhythm speak with the rarest vitality and caprice.
Her nervous reaching out towards further pianistic frays in the heart-easing second subject is pure Argerich and so are the octave storms in both the first and third movements that will have everyone, particularly her partners, tightening their seat belts. The cadenza is spun off with a hypnotic brilliance, the central Prestissimo from the Andantino becomes a true 'scherzo of fireflies', and the finale seems to dance off the page; a far cry from more emphatic Ukranian point-making and brutality.
For encores DG has reissued Argerich's 1983 performance of The Nutcracker where she's partnered by Nicolas Economou in his own arrangement, a marvel of scintillating pianistic prowess, imagination and finesse.
Highly lyrical and jaw-dropping technically, her performance is gripping. Claudio Abbado conducts…