How does Martha Argerich do it at almost 80?

How does Martha Argerich do it at almost 80?


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2021

Superfan Rick Beato tries to figure it out.

Beato, 59, is a Youtube million-seller with a Martha fix.

This is fun.


  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    I saw this video lest week it appeared on Youtube quickly. I was sad for him when he said he never have seen her in concert. A chance I had. Sometime we don’t realise the chance to be in western Europe for the concerts. interesting testimony.

  • Nigel Goldberg says:

    Martha is simply a unique force of nature which can’t be explained but only appreciated. Long live Martha!

  • Stephen Harding says:

    I have only seen Martha Argerich twice, both times at the Proms, Prokofiev 3 in 1992 and Ravel G major in 2009. Incredible power and virtuosity in both performances and a seeming ability to reduce the Albert Hall to the intimacy of a drawing room in the slow movement of the Ravel. Magical performances which I am eternally grateful to have witnessed.

  • Robert Battey says:

    Not to rain on Beato’s parade, but he shows himself to be a dilettante when it comes to classical music. Of course Argerich is one of the greatest pianists of this, or any other, era. But he’s all agog over her repertoire, which is far and away the smallest of any major artist and has been for a couple of decades. Nor is she alone in maintaining high playing standards into her late 70’s (see Rubinstein, Arrau, Serkin, Pressler, Pollini, etc.). And Beato is almost dumbstruck that she can actually execute three against two!!

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I mostly agree. But Marta Argerich’s distinctive high voltage approach is indeed rather unusual.

      Aging virtuosos have often mellowed out and become more introspective. I felt that way about Arrau and Serkin, both of whom I had the enormous privilege to hear live in their 80s. Rubinstein sounded more sober in his late recordings.

      That said, many aging pianists have a lot to offer, including all the greats you mention and, of course, Argerich. She has always been way more than a dazzling virtuoso: she is a profound musician, and, despite her small repertoire, stylistically versatile.

      I am sure I am not alone here in wishing her well and looking forward to many more musically productive years.

    • Brandwein says:

      Agreed in full, Robert!

    • Hilary says:

      “But he’s all agog over her repertoire, which is far and away the smallest of any major artist and has been for a couple of decades…”

      I’m always puzzled by this, given her astounding talent.

      Certainly it’s a sound idea to give a wide berth to repertoire you don’t have an affinity for, but that still leaves a huge range of possibilities in the case of solo/concertante piano!
      The 6th, as opposed to the inevitable 2nd Bach Partita , or the 2nd as opposed to the inevitable 3rd Concerto by Prokofiev?

  • henry williams says:

    to survive 3 marriages is also amazing.

  • E says:

    Yes, this was fun to watch!
    I admire his tech skills, too!

  • Mary Benson says:

    re: Repertoire?..Less is MORE or MORE..Less..a dichotomy for thought.

    The Paradox of Choice is the epiphany of Individual Freedom & Expression which enlightens an Artist the Privilege, Sovereignty & Autonomy to share their Ingenious God Given Talent ‘Ad Libitum’ with a dying world..a true sign of Initiative, Musical Independence & especially..Virtuosic Choice!

    The Universal Language of the Soul..Music! ..reaching Depths of Expression..inadequate for words…
    BRAVO!!! Martha Argerich!.
    ‘Transcendental, Ethereal’ Prodigious Genius!