Riccardo Chailly and Martha Argerich Perform Schumann

« previous episode | next episode »

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Riccardo Chailly Riccardo Chailly (Hiroyuki Ito)

Tonight’s broadcast, which was recorded at the Philharmonie in Berlin on November 29, puts the piano center stage along with beloved guests of the orchestra: pianist Martha Argerich and guest conductor Riccardo Chailly.

The Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor has been in Argerich's repertoire for at least forty years .. and far longer if you count a 1952 Buenos Aires recording that she made at age 11.

Schumann described the work as “something between a symphony, a concerto and a large sonata.” Martha Argerich shines her light on all Schumann’s intentions and details, savoring them, especially at first. By the third and final movement, the momentum is the story.

In the second half, Chailly conducts Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3, composed in the 1930s. The Philadelphia Orchestra played the premiere. Though the reviews were mixed, the composer always had confidence in this work, and appreciation for it has grown in recent years. The composer paints with a colorful palate, with piccolo and English horn, expanded French horn and brass sections, percussion, harps and celeste.

On November 30, Argerich, Chailly and the orchestra performed the same program at the Philharmonie Essen. Pictures are on the Berlin Philharmonic tour blog. Argerich returns to the Philharmonie on April 1, 2015, in a program with Gidon Kremer, violin.

More about tonight's artists:

Riccardo Chailly will become principal conductor of La Scala opera in Milan next month, began his career there in the 1970s, as assistant to conductor Claudio Abbado, who succeeded Herbert von Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic in the 1990s.

Martha Argerich is considered one of the greatest pianists of any generation. Born in Argentina, she won the Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Poland in 1965. The next year she made her US debut at Lincoln Center. But mid-career, she opted out of solo concerts in favor of concertos and chamber music.

Program Details:
Riccardo Chailly, conductor
Martha Argerich, pianist

Felix Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor

   Martha Argerich Piano

Robert Schumann: Of Foreign Lands and Peoples from Kinderszenen

   Martha Argerich Piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3 in A minor

Watch video archives of WQXR's Berlin Philharmonic broadcasts with a 48-hour free pass to the Digital Concert Hall with promo code: WQXR (courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic).

Berlin Philharmonic recordings are available for sale on iTunes.

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.