These performances recorded live at the 2006 Lugano Festival are examples of Martha Argerich at her best. Argerich has always been a supremely virtuosic pianist with artistic temperament to spare, and these performances embody all those qualities to the hilt. With the flashy but never self-indulgent trumpeter Sergei Nakariakov and the superbly sculpted strings of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana led by conductor Alexander Vedernikov, Argerich turns in a concerto that is lively, witty, passionate, and funny in the finale. With the frisky Lilya Zilberstein, Argerich turns in a concertino of unrelenting energy and unstoppable momentum. But best of all is Argerich's quintet with violinists Renaud Capuçon and Alissa Margulis, violist Lida Chen, and cellist Mischa Maisky. From the massive chords of the opening Lento to the irresistible energy of the closing Allegretto, this performance ranks with the Richter/Borodin quartet as the finest ever made, and anyone who loves the work, the composer, and, of course, the performers should make a point of hearing this disc. EMI's live digital sound is close, clear, warm, and detailed.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Concerto No. 1, for piano, trumpet & strings, in C minor, Op. 35|
|Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57|