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Music Review: Concertos show Martha Argerich as One of the Greatest Pianist of the 21st Century


Martha Argerich is regarded as one of the greatest pianists in the twentieth century, and releasing this four CD collection shows that she is nowhere near done with her musical career.  Argerich will continue to improve and show her virtuosity, possibly earning the title of one of the greatest pianists in the twenty-first century.

On the first disc of this collection, the two Chopin concertos flow over the listener with a wash of color and incredible skill.  You should close your eyes and follow the tide of Argerich’s beautiful music where nothing is at fault and her relaxed style allows the dynamics of music flow together with ease.

Disc two contains two concertos by Prokofiev and Piano Concerto No. 3 by Bartok, both more contemporary composers.  Martha Argerich is most known for her interpretation of twentieth century music, and to understand her excitement for the wonderful pieces of the era this is the disc to listen to.  The way the concertos hold tension, emotion and excitement is reflected in Argerich’s playing of the pieces.  Her technique never wavers, and these are the best pieces in the collection. 

The third disc showed that Beethoven and Schumann are just as relevant today as Bartok, Shostakovich and Prokofiev.  Argerich preformed these pieces with the right amount of push and pull in the tempo and the excitement in the Beethoven was the right combination with the beauty and lightness of the Schumann Concerto. 

Disc four shows Martha Argerich’s excitement for twentieth century music with an interesting mix of Shostakovich, De Falla, and Pletnev.  Having never recorded or preformed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1, Archerich seemed very confident and rightfully so as the piece sounded pristine.  The De Falla Concerto was recorded for this collection because earlier in her career she had botched the piece and been very unhappy.  This goes to show that she is still improving and continues to have great talent. 

Martha Argerich has stated that she felt some loneliness in recitals and solo performances onstage and because of this, from the 1980s onward has preformed mostly with other musicians.  This collection of concertos is no different as she is not alone onstage with wonderful orchestras supporting her role as soloist.  The music does not sound empty or lonely as sometimes solo works can, but instead Argerich has mastered the concerto in such a way that it is enjoyable to spend all day listening to her preform on this collection.