Label scoop: Martha Argerich goes boutique

Label scoop: Martha Argerich goes boutique


norman lebrecht

July 16, 2019

The ever-unpredictable pianist has allowed a small Brussels-based label, avanti-classic, to issue the fruits of her new Hamburg festival in a seven-album box, featuring many of her best friends.

Martha used to issue her Lugano festival concerts through EMI, usually with very good sales.

Her first release on avant-classic involes such old friends as Mischa Maisky, Nicholas Angelich and Stephen Kovacevich, and new ones – Akiko Suwanai, Alisa Weilerstein, Guy Braunstein or Edgar Moreau. She also partners Thomas Hampson in Schumann’s Dichterliebe, believed to be the first times on record that she accompanies a singer.

The box is out on September 13.



  • Esther Cavett says:

    re: Dichterliebe/Hampson

    Well in that film biog which SD recommended, MA says how much she loves Schumann, so doing a song cycle makes total sense.

    Thanks for the tip-off.

    BTW, I see in a recent-ish concert listing that she even got Barenboim to conduct her in Shostakovich 1st concerto, maybe putting an end to DB’s long antipathy for this composer

    • Eayl Braun says:

      She performed the Shostakovich 1st in 2017 with Barenboim and his Divan orchestra in the Lucerne festival . It was magnificent!

  • Quinten says:

    She recorded for that label before. Twice, actually. One album with Dora Schwarzberg, and one with Polina Leschenko.

    • esfir ross says:

      Polina Leschenko’s a marvelous pianist, Dora S.’s from Moldova and happy that through MA they get recognition

  • anon says:

    Since her very public defense of her ex-husband, I have lost all respect for her, and what is listed above as her collaborators, I see a list of enablers, however indirectly, and it is most disheartening that among the youngest ones are two women.

    There will be a circling of the wagon by her legion of fans (and those of her ex), as inevitably there always is in cases like this.

    But there will also be an accounting one day, as inevitably there always is in cases like this.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Who cares if she robustly came to Charles Dutoit’s defense, and even believes what she said? She can say whatever she wants, even if it’s idiotic. It doesn’t change the fact that she’s the greatest living pianist. I would not hesitate to go hear her again live given the opportunity. I’m there to hear her play the piano, not listen to her opinions on sexual harassment.

    • Mike Schachter says:

      How curious to have loyalty to an ex-husband. Perhaps it should be illegal. And perhaps people with posts like this should have the courage not to be anon.

    • John says:

      Who cares if you lost respect for her! Who cares what you think!

    • Tominkansas says:

      Yes, but what do you think of her playing?

    • Brian says:

      It’s the old culture of idol worship in classical music: Never mind Dutoit’s alleged victim’s, they argue. They want to believe that the stars – and their enablers – can do no wrong.

    • Paul Brownsey says:

      So people who play music with her are “enablers” of sexual misconduct towards women.

      Golly. You do spread the net of guilt wide. Would you blame, too, the spouses of those who play music with her, as being enablers of enablers?

  • Grazzidad says:

    It says she never accompanied a singer, but what about Mercedes Sosa, e.g.,

  • Esther Cavett says:

    ==She recorded.. with Dora Schwarzberg,

    Dora S is one of the most underrated performers around and I never understood why she didn’t have a much bigger career. But anyway – to me it proves categorically that M.A. judges by her ears alone and is not swayed by managers and the whole industry.
    Do check out the Dora+Martha Debussy/ Frank / Schumann recording !