Martha Argerich tries something new

Martha Argerich tries something new


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2020

She’s releasing a single.

With a piece she has never recorded before.

It’s the Schubert 4-hand Fantasia, D940, wth Sergio Tiempo.

Here’s a sample:



  • Olassus says:

    No, she has played the Fantaisie in f before, and the Rondeau, D951. Missing is the Grand Duo, but, like the Vaughan Williams concerto, it is outside her comfort zone.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    I saw her play it with Edward Delgado 8 or 9 years ago and there are semi-official recordings available of it lurking around. Fantastic playing

  • Herr Doktor says:

    I’ve also heard Argerich perform the work live before, except now I’m racking my brains to remember which concert and with which partner. Interestingly enough, I went onto YouTube to see if I could find the uploaded performance of this masterpiece with Tiempo. I didn’t, but found other performances of her playing them with other partners. And I also found one of Lucas and Arthur Jussen performing the work in 2015. Not to pick on them–they probably have formidable careers to look forward to from an artistic perspective, but hearing them playing this work in their 20s, and Martha Argerich playing it much later in life, it’s kind of like night and day. My favorite recording is the one Emil Gilels made with his daughter Elena, which I think is pretty much a perfect performance that is unsurpassable. In my opinion, the Fantasie in F-minor is one of Schubert’s greatest works–and that’s saying a lot.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Herr Dr., I generally agree with your comments. Wonderful as I find the Gilels and Gilels recording, I like the Lupu and Perahia even more – definitely one of my Desert Island recordings.

      • esfir ross says:

        Imogene Cooper and Paul Lewis, Karl and Helen Schnabel, Katya and Muriel Labeque-all superior rendition. My favored-brothers Jussen.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      I checked online, and I heard Argerich play the Fantasie in F-minor live with Nelson Freire at Carnegie Hall in 2005. The entire concert was wonderful.

      Petros, taste is individual, and I also have the Perahia/Lupu recording of the Schubert, but to my ears it seems that the Gilelses lean into the music a fair bit more, and their performance has a greater intensity than Perahia/Lupu, who are more laid back. The Gilels recording was the third one I owned and it just seemed to me they really nailed the work (the first CD of the work I purchased was unfortunately the Badura-Skoda/Demus recording, recommended by an “expert” who worked at HMV, and it’s not very good in my opinion; the second was the Perahia/Lupu, which was much better). But for sure, Perahia/Lupu is a strong performance, even if I think the Gilels is even better.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Eduardo Delgado of Rosario, Argentina, is an excellent pianist with single CDs of Latin classical music. He is the pianist on Jose Cura’s “Anhelo” CD, on which his solo track is a spectacularly knocked-out concert arrangement of Piazzola’s “Adios, Nonino”. Don’t knock it till you’ve heard it.

    Sergio Tiempo is from Venezuela, and another excellent pianist., another of Argerich’s South American friends.
    Robert and Gaby Casadesus made the first record of Schubert’s great Fantasy in F minor for Columbia. The American pianist Nathan Fryer, la friend and fanatical admirer of Ignaz Friedmann’s, introduced me to it. It’s a great work with a particularly haunting theme. So is the Grand Duo, which some think would have been a symphony if Schubert had more time It has been orchestrated by others..

    • esfir ross says:

      Sergio Tempo’s Argentinian. His father was ambassador in Venezuela when Sergio was born. His mother side -several generation of pianists in Argentina.

  • Federico says:

    She played it also with Maria Joao Pirès but this is Martha’s first studio recording of the piece. Can not be compared with live performances.