Martha Argerich
June 9, 2010 7:40 PM   Subscribe

[Martha] Argerich brings to bear qualities that are seldom contained in one person: she is a pianist of brainteasing technical agility; she is a charismatic woman with an enigmatic reputation; she is an unaffected interpreter whose native language is music. This last may be the quality that sets her apart. A lot of pianists play huge double octaves; a lot of pianists photograph well. But few have the unerring naturalness of phrasing that allows them to embody the music rather than interpret it. - Alex Ross, "Madame X". The New Yorker - November 12, 2001
posted by Joe Beese (12 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I don't want to sound puerile but she's really hot!

Ever heard her play Shostakovitch's 1st?. I think she does it wonderfully.
posted by elmono at 7:59 PM on June 9, 2010

I see that the Rach 3 YouTube was removed - here's a replacement.
posted by unliteral at 8:02 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't want to sound puerile but she's really hot!

I hate to make the first two replies about a great artist be about her looks, but... yeah.

Also she can really play! That box set I linked to the cover of is $22 (on Amazon) of 8 CDs of stunning piano playing. If you're into solo piano of the Romantic era, it's a great way to bootstrap a collection.

There's also a similar set of concerto recordings that I should really pick up.
posted by dfan at 8:06 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like Ross, but that "enigmatic reputation" phrase is so curious...I assume it means "a reputation for being an enigma" but that seems like a slight misuse of the word. The only option is that the reputation itself is an enigma, but how is that even possible?
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:18 PM on June 9, 2010

unliteral: "I see that the Rach 3 YouTube was removed - here's a replacement ."

It's a performance than deserves better than YouTube sound.

Likewise, for Chopin: The Legendary 1965 Recording and a live 1967 recording.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:28 PM on June 9, 2010

Damn it, there used to be a video of her playing Liszt's hungarian rhapsody #6 wherein she simply tears up the octaves in the 3rd section. I can only find her Funerailles now, which has the same wonderful focus on her hands... this compensates, i believe joe, for the admittedly shitty youtube sound.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:45 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nice, thanks for posting this, Joe!
posted by carter at 8:47 PM on June 9, 2010

I don't want to sound puerile but she's really hot!

I can't find the pic, but there's an album cover where Argerich and Nelson Freire are looking at each other with a stare like they want to tear off each others clothing. Her playing is as passionate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:48 PM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

She's extraordinary. Thanks for the links Joe, elmono and unliteral.
posted by homunculus at 9:08 PM on June 9, 2010

Ripping up Ravel.
posted by unliteral at 9:11 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

In particular, from about the 17 minute mark before she gets stuck into the Presto.
posted by unliteral at 9:17 PM on June 9, 2010

Love the way she plays the Rach 3 from memory. This post is what I needed this morning! Thank you!
posted by yoHighness at 12:50 AM on June 10, 2010

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