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Martha Argerich: Live at Verbier / Beethoven, Scarlatti, Shostakovich [DVD]

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
>Scarlatti, Domenico : Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 141/L 422
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35
>Bizet, Georges : Symphony in C major
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Argentine pianist Martha Argerich has been dazzling audiences for decades with what the New York Times has referred to as 'prodigious technique with uncanny musicality.' She is now a fixture at the popular Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps, entertaining thousands every summer. Argerich is accompanied in this live recording from the 2009 & 2010 festivals by the gifted Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. Works by Beethoven, Scarlatti, Bizet and Shostakovich take the audience on a whirlwind tour through a small selection of Argerich's extensive repertoire.

Gramophone
Throughout the two concertos, Gábor Takács-Nagy provides alert, precision support. His ever-present smile and benign platform manner encourage his young players to great heights. The Bizet Symphony skips along with all the requisite charm and lightness of touch.

Fanfare
... Martha Argerich... gives these concertos - both staples of her repertoire - youthful, quick-tempered performances full of biting accents and sparklingly clear inner lines, producing kick-ass rhythms and a sizzling energy that keep you on the edge of your seat...

ClassicalCDReview.com
Martha Argerich at her peak of performance... After a superlative performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 (one of her favorites), she gives as elegant a reading as you will ever hear of a Scarlatti sonata. Then she is joined by trumpeter David Guerrier in Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1 - a virtuoso high-spirited romp for all concerned. Excitement diminishes a bit with the "bonus," Bizet's Symphony No. 1. Throughout, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra is in fine form under conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy.

Infodad.com
There is a good deal to enjoy as well in Martha Argerich: Live at Verbier Festival, although there is little reason to have the Argentine pianist's performances on this DVD rather than on CD. There are actually two Verbier Festivals here: Argerich plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Scarlatti's D minor sonata, Kk. 141, at the 2009 festival, and Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1 at the 2010 festival. The latter also includes Bizet's Symphony in C, designated a "bonus" even though, without it, the DVD would barely last an hour (and even with it, it comes in at less than an hour and a half). Argerich (born 1941) is a fine performer who brings flair and understanding to everything she plays here, and the festival chamber orchestra backs her up well - although Gßbor Takßcs-Nagy has nothing especially interesting to communicate in the Bizet. The performances are well done, the relaxed atmosphere of the festival comes through nicely, and the video direction (by Philippe BTziat in 2009 and Anans Spiro in 2010) is not overly intrusive. However, there is no particular rationale for owning these performances or this repertoire on DVD except as a souvenir, for those who attended the Verbier Festival in Switzerland or, perhaps, those who wished they were there.

Los Angeles Times
The Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps is one of the places where Martha Argerich is least likely to cancel. In 2009 she was on hand to play Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto; last summer she returned for Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto. Both are works she has recorded repeatedly. But these live performances, captured on DVD, with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra of young players conducted with a flair by Gßbor Takßcs-Nagy, are new reasons for wonder.

Argerich, who is 70 this year, has lost none of her verve or sparkle. She is alive to every second. The last movement of the Shostakovich is just about as rhythmically exciting as anything you are likely encounter this summer. A bonus is Bizet's agreeable Symphony in C sounding, in fresh hands, like even it must be seen as a life-giving experience.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 87 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,



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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
  • Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano)
  • Conductor: Gabor Takacs-Nagy
  • Ensemble: Verbier Festival Orchestra
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1788-1798

>Scarlatti, Domenico : Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 141/L 422
  • Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano)
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 18th Century

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Concerto for Piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 35
  • Performer: Martha Argerich (Piano)
  • Conductor: Gabor Takacs-Nagy
  • Ensemble: Verbier Festival Orchestra
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1933

>Bizet, Georges : Symphony in C major
  • Conductor: Gabor Takacs-Nagy
  • Ensemble: Verbier Festival Orchestra
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1855