When Martha met Dutoit

Rare film from their early days together.

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  • 0:52 this was the original opening of the concerto in Tchaikovsky’s sketches. He added the famous opening later. Atleast, according to Gavrilov in a spellbinding masterclass he gave in Highgate.

    • Are you sure? I am aware that it was (re-)discovered that the famous first chords of the piano part have to be played arpeggio. But I did not came across that the intro was not part of the first performance. The re-issue of the original score of the Klin museum was recorded by Kirill Gerstein a few years ago. Did I misunderstand you or do you have more information on that?

      • The concerto is wildly popular with the solid piano chords opening, but the early rolling version is nothing unknown. Tchaikovsky made several revisions to the work, partly at the instigation of fellow pianists. See the wikipedia article.

        Here is a 1926 recording of first movement with pianist Vassily Sapelnikoff (1867–1941), who had played the work under Tchaikovsky himself


        • Thanks for the youtube link, I enjoyed it very much. Maybe I did not make my point clear enough. M. Argerich is not playing from bar 6 at 0:52 but a much later one (sorry, I don’t have the score at hand right now). If I understand Hilary’s comment correct it would imply that the concert originally started at that (later) position. That would be new to me.
          Just for fun: Argerich and Dutoit in concert playing Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto #1 in 1975: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItSJ_woWnmk (playing the chords solid)

      • I was less than clear.
        The intro we know and love would have been part of the first performance but I think Gavrilov suggested that the intro was an afterthought in the compostion process. It does of course seem unthinkable that the concerto could begin in such an impish fashion but it reveals the complexity of the creative process.

  • Dutoit comes off as a cocky, pretentious asshole. Someone here or there recently said that what Levine and many others accused of sex abuse had in common was “early fame”. I think if you combine that with the culture of conducting, you have a truly toxic situation.

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