Martha goes on Manchester tour

It has been announced that Martha Argerich will tour Italy and Slovenia next month with the Manchester Camerata.

Huge coup for the northern ensemble, fixed by its music director, Gábor Takács-Nagy.

martha argerich

She’ll be playing Beethoven’s first piano concerto.

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  • Love Martha, obviously, who doesn’t, but does she play anything else? The last three times I’ve seen her live it has been Beethoven 1 even if not originally programmed!

    • Yes, I saw her do it in London with Barenboim last year. I think I have booked for her Prokofiev 3 next year (another of her warhorses). As you say, one is happy if she turns up!

  • Perhaps both Janice and Graeme are too young to know, but Martha plays 4 of the 5 Beethoven Piano Concertos, the Choral Fantasy and the Triple Concerto, about 10 Mozart Piano Concertos, Schumann, Grieg, Prokoffiev 1 and 3, Tchikovsky N 1, Rachmaninov No.3, Chopin No1 and 2, Liszt No.1, Bartok No.3 and the Strauss Burlesque. Most of the works I mention have been recorded by Martha and several can be found on YouTube. Last year she Premiered a new work for piano and orchestra by Luis Bacalov and one for cello, piano and orchestra by Alfred Schnittke.

    • Oh Dear Alberto, maybe if you’d actually go to her live performances instead of just following outdated (yet delightful) videos, you’d know that Mrs. Argerich, while masterful of several piano concerti, tends to be booked to play the same thing over and over.

      Since you mentioned YouTube videos, you should look for the one where she is interviewed about Ravel’s Piano Concerto and her eyes couldn’t roll any further.

    • Too young to know?! I wish!

      I’ve seen Martha several times in the last few years and on all but one occasion it was Beethoven 1. That included with the Manchester Camerata when it was supposed to have been Shostakovich.

      Still, as Janice says, at least she turned up. There was once the cost of travel, hotel etc for a London concert that she cancelled….

  • Dear Janice, Not only I go to Martha’s live performances when we happen to be in the same town, but we sometimes share them, as we play 2-piano or 4-hands music together. If you leave in London, you can hear us later this year. Have known Martha for 56 years, we studied with the same teachers in Argentina and Switzerland. What you say is true, that she “tends to be booked to play the same thing over and over”, but this is not her fault or her choice. There are practical considerations on the part of the orchestras or conductors who invite her. Perhaps you should look at her chamber music repertoire and tell me how many soloists of her level play as much as Martha does, from the Baroque to contemporary music, with violin, cello, flute, voice, trios, quartets, quintets, etc. She spends a lot of time and energy helping the young, organising Festival for them or helping them with their studies. In addition, Martha is the excellent mother to 3 daughters and a wonderful grandmother to 6 grandchildren. I find her achievements more than remarkable.

    • I am in no way saying that she hasn’t achieved anything, you’re being very extreme, I find her to be a true living legend. I am merely stating that she tends to play the same pieces, and again, I didn’t say this was her choice, I said “she tends to get booked”. The audiences however, do get tired of hearing the same artists playing the same pieces every season, that’s all I’m referring to, even legends like Argerich can’t change that, not in the main orchestral field.
      Playing in smaller chamber festivals or Lucern is the exception to the rule.

  • Janice, Martha Argerich’s case is similar to that, 40 years ago, of with Artur Rubinstein, or of the other legend, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. I cannot change that. As a musician myself, I always like to enjoy listening and learn. With Martha, I’m fascinated by the way her interpretation of a Piano Concerto varies according to who is conducting and the qualities of the various orchestral soloists, because Martha plays Concertos as one should, as true chamber music works.

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