Argerich plays Chopin

Martha Argerich

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Argerich plays Chopin Review

by James Leonard

One of the great things about this collection of Martha Argerich's Chopin performances for German radio broadcasts is that many of the pieces are new to her official discography. This includes half a dozen mazurkas, a couple of nocturnes, an etude, and a ballade, all in deeply probing, intensely expressive, astoundingly virtuosic performances. The other great thing is that Argerich's performances of pieces she has already recorded commercially, the B minor Sonata and the three Op. 59 Mazurkas, are just as fine as her previous versions, and very different. Her sonata, for example, sounds as thrillingly emotional as her two canonical recordings, the 1965 EMI and the 1967 Deutsche Grammophon, but it also sounds much more modern: more angular, more aggressive, and more violent in the Finale. Despite the thin quality of the radio sound, these performances certainly deserve to be heard by anyone who knows and admires Argerich's work.

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