Marking Martha Argerich's Birthday

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Today is the 72nd birthday of the fiery Argentine pianist Martha Argerich and we’re celebrating with a Showdown that offers three great Argerich interpretations.

It was a super close race all morning between three Russian concerti with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 just barely squeaking ahead. We played it at noon.


Comments [14]

Andrew B. from Lower Merion, PA

Steve from Bronx: you make some highly subjective statements, although I like your boldness.

The one thing about Argerich's Tchaik is that it is so much better than anyone else's. Few, if any, other pianists can muster the passion Argerich brings to the piece, and, if any of them did, they probably wouldn't have the technique to execute the way Martha does.

No wonder she had such an inconsistent career, riddled cancellations, and a spotty discography. The wear of putting herself out on a limb, and putting so much on the line, with each and every performance would be very taxing.

Don't forget Argerich's later Prokofiev Third, with Dutoit/Montreal, a recording that earned her a Grammy upon her triumphant return after a decade battling cancer.

72 and still playing like she's less than half that age.

Jun. 05 2013 06:56 PM
Steve from Bronx

Three reasons for Prokofiev: HIs Third Concerto is a finer work than the other two. The Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov are programmed far too often on WQXR and elsewhere. Prokofiev is simply a far superior a composer than the others.

Jun. 05 2013 11:57 AM
Frank from UWS

Argerich's Prokofiev is sensational. Her version of the Ravel Concerto in G would have been my second choice.

Jun. 05 2013 11:46 AM
Katherine from Manhattan

It would be great to hear either the Rachmaninoff or Prokofiev. I just think the Tchaikovsky 1st gets the most air time. Is there any chance you'll play Argerich's performances of the Chopin concertos today? She infuses everything she plays with the passion and pathos of these composers.

Jun. 05 2013 11:40 AM
toni from NYC

I echo Lara's sentiments about the Prokofiev 3rd and the film 'The Competition', which is where I first discovered this tour de force gem that is all to rarely played on the airwaves. I would love to hear a pianist of Martha Argerich's caliber play it!

Jun. 05 2013 11:29 AM
Norma from EONJ

Never thought I'd vote against Tchaikovsky's #1 but would really like to hear Prokofiev.

Jun. 05 2013 10:56 AM
Pesach Schindler from Jerusalem,Israel

The Rachmaninoff 3rd was considered for decades Horowitz's personal showpiece,considered unplayable by ordinary mortals.This Martha Argerich performance will be an extraordinary birthday celebration for WQXR fans

Jun. 05 2013 10:16 AM
Kayla from Long Island

I would love to hear the Tchaik! I performed in a concert featuring this piece about two years ago and fell in love. Such a piece of art.

Jun. 05 2013 09:42 AM
Lara from NYC

Please play the Prokofiev. I've loved it ever since I saw the movie "The Competition" and it's played so rarely on the radio/web

Jun. 05 2013 09:31 AM
Gail luca from Endicott, NY

I'll also go with the Tchaikovsky Piano 1. It's rich full sound brings me back to my childhood and glorious old black and white movies that were staged with extravagant props and costumes.

Jun. 05 2013 09:25 AM
Bernie from UWS

Prokofiev, please. The Tchaik and Rach 3 are really over-played and WQXR rarely plays Prokofiev except for Romeo and Juliet or another "top 40" hit. Let's go with something a little more adventurous this week, shall we folks?

Jun. 05 2013 09:15 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

I'll go with the Tchaikovsky Piano 1, a highlight of which is the opportunity for Ms. Argerich to display those incredible double octave passages that she plays so breathtakingly. Many, many happy returns.

Jun. 05 2013 09:01 AM
Daniel Meeter from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Thanks for this opportunity. Of course we love the Tchaikovsky and the Rachmaninoff, but the weather, the month, the transit of the planets, and the needs of the Brooklyn soul all say, Prokoviev.

Jun. 05 2013 08:29 AM
Phil from Queens, NY

I saw her do this Prokofiev concerto and it was not July 4, but is might as well had been, because there was a fireworks display in the auditorium, coming from the piano.

Jun. 05 2013 08:12 AM

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