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Evening Talks

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Evening Talks + Bloody Daughter + A Martha Argerich Celebration - Martha Argerich plays Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Martha Argerich is the last remaining pianist of legend. A wild child and a rebel at heart, this legendary Argentinean musician is surrounded by an aura of mystery: some find her too uncompromising, others generous and beautiful, yet to all she is without doubt incredibly talented. For the very first time on camera Martha Argerich shares with us her memories, confides in us her doubts, and transmits to us her incredible appetite for music making. Images of Argentina, rehearsals in the concert hall or at home, excerpts of recent concerts and archival clips complete this unique film on one of the most secretive and endearing artists of our time.


Director Georges Gachot centered the hour-long portrait on an informal, night-owl cafe talk with Martha Argerich -- a living legend, if there are any left in classical music. He doesn't ask probing questions of this most enigmatic and media-shy of major musicians, and there is no outside commentary. But, switching from French to English and back, the pianist alights on key topics, dissecting herself bemusedly. With Gachot having gained the trust of a friend, the camera reveals her bohemian incandescence. Argerich flirts naturally with the lens, as beautiful women can. -- Neward Star-Ledger, Bradley Bambarger, September 08, 2008

The conversations are what holds the film together; they are soft, immensely appealing, not at all the Matha I would have expected from say, that cannonade of a performance of Prok [sic] 3 she gave here last year. Director Gachot is - I assume that's he - is an attractive interlocutor, and he has put fireball Martha at her ease. More accessible and self-revealing than I would have expected, she talks of her fear of Beethoven; she will never brave the mountain that is the Fourth Concerto, finding satisfaction in the milder-mannered Second. I like what Alex Ross wrote about her, that "her native language is music." She sounds like someone I would like to meet. I wouldn't have thought so before. -- SoIveHeard.com, Alan Rich, July 2008

This film offers fans an insightful, unguarded portrait. -- The New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer, August 2008

Top 2008 Classics List: "Schumann is my best friend," this most unpredictable of pianists remarks as she relaxes at the piano, rambles through magnificent excerpts from her repertory and, wonderfully at her ease in an hour of sheer, endearing wisdom, confides to filmmaker George Gachot some of her inmost thoughts about the music she plays better than anyone else on earth. -- Bloomberg.com, Alan Rich, December 2008

Without any scripted dialogue or cue cards, filmmaker Georges Gachot captures the enigmatic Argentine in spontaneous moments of candor and stillness. Hidden behind long hair and in a thoughtful pose reminiscent of Susan Sontag, Argerich muses on the music that's shaped her career and the people who made it happen. She recalls with laughter how one of her heroes, jazz pianist Errol Garner, had never heard of Debussy and how her teacher, Friedrich Gulda, exerted more musical influence on her than anyone else. Seeing those diminutive hands dominate a keyboard in the Prokofiev Third is a real wonder, but the maturity she shows in Schumann's simple "Of Foreign Lands and People" from Kinderszenen convinced this longtime skeptic the woman can play. -- Time Out Chicago, Bryant Manning, August 2008

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (PCM Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019I0X04
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,731 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2008
Format: DVD
Martha Argerich, for many of us, has long been an enigma. She has always been a private person, one who does not seek the spotlight, who even cancels performances because, it is said, of nervousness, shyness. Filmmaker Georges Gachot, after years of entreaties, gets her to agree, to speak with him on camera. She comes across as a soft-spoken, shy, immensely intelligent but often cryptic person, one who has idiosyncratic but attractive ideas about her relationships with composers and various pieces of music. For instance, she will not play the Beethoven Fourth Concerto because she is afraid of 'what might happen', this after talking about the galvanic emotional effect it has had on her ever since she heard Claudio Arrau play it when she was six.

Interleaved with Gachot's and Argerich's low-key but very revealing conversations are many clips of Argerich rehearsing and playing, primarily with orchestra or with other pianists. There are seventeen clips of her playing music ranging from an incandescent Capriccio from Bach's Second Partita to a two-piano and percussion arrangement of Piazzolla's Libertango. She is shown, in a long clip, rehearsing the Schumann Concerto with Jörg Faerber and the Wurttemburg Chamber Orchestra. There is a blistering finale of the Ravel G Major Concerto (with Charles Dutoit conducting). There are clips from her 1965 Chopin Competition win and a marvelous performance of Lutoslawski's two-piano Paganini Variations with Mauricio Vallina. And a short bit from the Teatro Colón with fellow South American Nelson Freire in the piano four-hand 'Laideronette' from the Mother Goose Suite of Ravel. Riches, indeed.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on August 14, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Guchot's documentary is about Martha Argerich's oneness with the music she plays. We knew it existed already from hearing her performances. Here she articulates it in ways that are candid, joyful, earthy, and most eloquent in her charming manner. She is never pedantic. These conversations reveal the deeply personal and dynamic relationship with her art and the composers who make it happen. Only such humility and integrity, and perhaps a fundamentally iron will, can make her transcendental technique soar in interpretations which have been prodigious and unsurpassed in my concert-going life. Perhaps film gives us a glimpse about a way of being one wish one could achieve. Most tellingly, it is not about the applause, which seems immaterial and irrelevant when dealing with an artist of this caliber (indeed, it is more a release for the audience than a nutrient for a performer in this class..... though they all probably love it). The joy is in the playing. It is all about living the music.

This is a unique dvd. Not quite an interview, rather she talks about her music, playing with others, the personal way she has of relating to the composers she performs...... when performing Lizst and Chopin in the same evening she must make sure to play them equally as true to themselves so one won't be jealous of the other. I truly understand her respect and love for Schumann as I totally identify with it. In her casual conversation, these ideas make music a living thing and one gets a glimpse of Argerich's total dedication to her art. This is indeed Martha Argerich conversing about how and why she is a pianist and one gets the information not from a script but from seemingly extemporaneous comments, from body language, indeed from aptly inserted performance footage, including youngster Argerich.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Baseball Messiah on September 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I did, of course, know of Martha Argerich. I have a copy of her debut recording, when she was a teenager of growing international renown. This movie goes back and forth in her career, beginning in medias res, working with a young violinist. The film contains clips of her earlier performances, interspersed with her "evening talks" with associates and the film maker. Her perspectives on her career, her professional relationships, and her relationships with music/composers is beyond enlightening. It is amazing to watch her work. This film will repay both your purchase and your study.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Goodridge on August 31, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this in awe. Martha Argerich, as most of us know, is an iconic wonder of the art of piano. She knows the instrument so intimately. The instrument gives to her what most of us dream it could give to us.

This DVD takes you into her lounge, sits you in front of the fireplace and serves you a cup of tea. What an amazingly filmed interview. The relaxed nature of it is so enticing, and makes you feel rude to stand up and leave the room for a toilet break. I just watched it in awe.

There are recordings of her playing some of the most amazing and characterised pieces ever written with such ownership that it would make you, if you are a pianist, want to give up your instrument completely and become a milk man (either that, or inspire you to the greatest degree of musicality). It's impossible to hear a false note by Martha. In this video, there is a section where you are sitting in a rehearsal of Schumann's Piano Concerto...and not once does she look troubled, and not once is there a notational error.

Im ranting now, so Ill simply say this: Buy this DVD to get an interview with Martha Argerich that will make you inspired, jealous, lustful (for music), defeated, happy, awe-filled, warm and satisfied...all at the same time.
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