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Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 / Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 3 Original recording reissued
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Top Customer Reviews
Indeed, in my experience, this is the only recording of his First Piano Concerto wherein the relentless keyboard banging and typical hectoring orchestral volatility take a subservient role to the abundant wonders imbued in this music.
Listen, for example, to the majestic unfurling of the glorious opening Allegro brioso of Concerto No. 1--- and, then, after an exciting horn fanfare, Argerich enters with the most phenomenal, articulated, running passagework. It takes the breath away! How well Argerich has "aged" playing this work, how caressing her panache, her quiet intensity. There's no fierceness anymore, no aggression, just revelation and a manifold interconnectedness with the music. Throughout, it's moments like this that propel the performance, that make it so completely appealing. Listen, again, to the flutes' eerie fluttering shortly into the Andante assai--- and how Argerich's magical piano comes whispering, cat-like and hushed. Lastly, thrill to the way Argerich and Dutoit pursue the cyclical material of the Allegro scherzando finale to a hair-raising conclusion. Prokofiev? I'd hardly recognize you.
As if this weren't enough, Concerto No. 3 shimmers and glows in the outer movements and is translucent in the Andantino "variations." That Argerich has matured and mellowed is so telling, especially here, in a concerto she first tackled back in 1957. No longer is her need to "showcase" her dynamism or "whiteknuckle" the keyboard. No. No need at all.
Thus she turns Bartok's Third Piano Concerto into an almost mystical experience, yet filled with a sense of jubilant humanity.Read more ›
Her performance of the Third Concerto is perhaps more languid than in her early legendary performance with Abbado. Nevertheless, it is still quite nimble and definitely more open to passing caprice and fancy.
It is in the Bartok concerto where she really shines. Some like Bartok a little rougher, but Argerich brings more refinement, giving the composer his own voice rather than imposing her own. This piano concerto has a Mozartean grace to it. She achieves a remarkable, delicate chamber-like balance that has sometimes eluded her in the past.
Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony achieve fine support and unity. The recording is clear and naturally balanced. While lacking her trademark spark, all three performances are full of integrity.
Argerich isn't just an important living pianist, she is one of the all time greats. Whether you always agree with her choices or not, she is always compelling. She is a treasure.
Here, the Bartok is performed by Argerich in an absolutely wonderful way. The orchestra does a spectacular job in making this music sounds as wonderful as it is.
The two Prokofiev concertos (1 & 3) are done with humor and energy as well as with intellect and taste.
Look, if you are still trying to get into twentieth century music, here is a CD that can help you make that move. These pieces are proof of the beauty and greatness of music making in the last century.
Listening to this CD is as much fun and intoxicating as your favorite roller coaster ride.
Her Bartok is again technically brilliant. Her intuitive musicality is put into wonderful use, as it sounds well-thought-out, but it also sounds naturally spontaneous.
I am afraid to say the Prokofiev 3rd concerto fares less well. And for this, I put the blame on Dutoit, not Argerich.
After the lyrical slow introduction, the piano introduces the main theme. All is fine at the start. But less than one minute after the pianist has entered, one hears strange tempi fluctuations from Argerich. They not only sound forced, but they don't make musical sense. For example, where the piano has repeated runs in octaves, here at 6:21, Argerich starts very quickly, but slows down (a very subtle change, but noticeable). To me, it sounds as if Dutoit is forcing her to keep her speed at a safe measure. That is the last thing a soloist needs, to be forced by a conductor. Isn't a conductor supposed 'support' a soloist?? (in the second octave runs, repeated at 9:09, the same thing happens, only it is much more noticeable)
While all this is happening, one can sense that she doesn't like all the pushing around she is getting from Mr. Dutoit. Compared to her first recording, the whole performance takes almost 3 minutes longer than her 1967 recording.
Having said all that, I hear things in the piano part I didn't hear before, enhancing one's knowledge and enjoyment of the music.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this CD when it was released in the late 90s and, based on my high esteem for the work of Martha Argerich and Charles Dutoit and the fact that the three piano concerti... Read morePublished 16 months ago by jt52
Ms. Argerich is a phenomenal pianist who plays from memory and smiles, sometimes, 'purses' her lips, all in tune with her stunning technique. Read morePublished on March 6, 2014 by Leo
This is a splendid recording for those who are seduced by musical modernism of the XXth century, more precisely by the piano output of two giants like Sergei Prokofiev and Bela... Read morePublished on June 6, 2012 by P. Adrian
Once again I broke my never buy Argerich rule, and once again I have paid for it. Dutoit and the Montreal are absolutely superb - clearly worth 5 or more stars. But Argerich. Read morePublished on May 5, 2011 by Gerald Rains
I did not know who Martha Argerich was until three weeks ago. I am not a pianist, my knowledge of the Byzantine workings of the piano concert circuit virtually nil, and except for... Read morePublished on December 12, 2010 by William Alexander
Martha Argerich has held the hegemony in Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto for the past four+ decades. Read morePublished on October 10, 2009 by C. Pontus T.
This is one of Argerich's greatest recorded performances. The reviewers who talk about the performance being more tame or passive are confused by the microphone placement by the... Read morePublished on August 5, 2009 by Douglas Buys
Why is it that on long drives Piano Concerto No.1 is the piece that wins out among the CDs? Answer: Argerich's sublime shadings. Read morePublished on June 15, 2006 by Neil Cotiaux
After reading the other interview, I've decided to "chime-in" with my own, simple review. Ms. Argerich's playing is simply top-rate! Read morePublished on July 25, 2005 by D. S. HARDEN