Music Box, 4th July: Martha Argerich's Album 'Early Recordings'
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I want to invite you to listen to an album signed by Martha Argerich, an album released on 13th May 2016 under the Deutsche Grammophon Label. However, this is not an album with recent recordings, but with the recordings of a young Martha Argerich, never before recorded on a disc, from 1960 and 1967, when Martha Argerich was still a promising piano player and not a certitude for the world's high-class piano players. Today, Martha Argerich reaches seventy-five years old on the 5th June 2016 and has the status of a great idol, one of the greatest female piano players of the second half of the 20th century.
What is interesting is the fact that on the album we'll listen to today - Martha Argerich's Early Recordings, there can be found two songs recorded in 1960, which are not typical for Martha Argerich's repertoire. Like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 18 in D Major K. 576, recorded on 23rd January 1960 by the German Broadcasting Institution in Köln and Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 7, in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3 - recorded on 8th September 1960 by the same public German Broadcasting Institution.
It's important to notice that at eighteen years old, Martha Argerich was already an extraordinary piano player, who had technical confidence and the prowess of a mature artist, really in control of what message the public should get. At eighteen years old, Martha Argerich had already won two important competitions: the one in Geneva and the 'Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition'. But the international reconnaissance would come only five years later, in 1965, when Martha Argerich won the 'International Chopin Piano Competition' in Warsaw. Up until the 1980's she used to perform solo recitals, then she quit performing solo, and she focused on performing chamber music concerts and recitals. So, listening to Martha Argerich's solo recital is truly a privilege out of this world.
Listening to a rendition of Prokofiev's works by Martha Argerich is surely an experience - actually, the concert which has made her famous was signed by Serghei Prokofiev - I'm talking about Concerto No. 3. But rarely, I had the opportunity to listen to Prokofiev's solo piano works performed by Martha Argerich. On 16th March 1960, an eighteen-year old Martha Argerich recorded Sergei Prokofiev's Toccata Op. 11 and Sonata No. 3, in A Minor, Op. 28 for the German Broadcasting Institution in Hamburg.
On that same day, Martha Argerich recorded for the German Broadcasting Institution in Hamburg Maurice Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, an extraordinary demonstration of musical virtuosity of an eighteen year old female musician in which one can see the great star from later on.
Chronologically speaking, the first recording of Ravel's sonata was performed by Martha Argerich on the 8th September 1960, for the German Broadcasting Institution in Köln, presented now in premiere on Early Recordings.
Prokofiev - another composer preferred by the young Martha Argerich - it's understandable why, since Martha Argerich's passionate and nonconformist personality and her extraordinary technical abilities were a good fit with this music. The only recording on this disc is Serghei Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7, recorded on 31st October 1967 for the German Broadcasting Institution in Köln: Martha Argerich was twenty-six years old and was already internationally released after winning the first prize in 1965, in the 'International Chopin Piano Competition' in Warsaw.
Martha Argerich's Early Recordings - is an album which can be listened to on Monday, 4th July, at 20:45 or anytime on the web page of the 'Vote the Best Classical Album of 2016' Campaign.
Translated by Irina Mihai
MTTLC, University of Bucharest, 2nd year