29/08/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Argerich in Lugano 2016



Final chapter of festival recordings brings a notable first


For the first time in many years, Martha Argerich returned to public solo performance at the final instalment of her Swiss lakeside festival last summer, and the resulting recording of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit is issued on 1 September by Warner Classics.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the famously exacting challenges of Ravel’s work were met by Argerich as a cornerstone of her repertoire. However, she has not given solo performances for many years, preferring instead to work on concertos and chamber music with friends and favoured musical partners such as Daniel Barenboim and her former husbands Stephen Kovacevich and Charles Dutoit.

For the last 15 years she has curated a festival, the Progetto Martha Argerich, in the Swiss lakeside town of Lugano. Selected highlights from each year were released by EMI, and then Warner Classics, to critical acclaim. They included Argerich in concerto, duet and chamber music, with both classics for which she is renowned such as the concertos of Chopin and Ravel, and breathtaking performances of pieces new to her repertoire, including Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio and The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns.

Watch this fantastic 30-minute documentary from the 2002 Lugano festival:



The festival’s principal sponsor has now withdrawn its funding, and so the final edition took place in June 2016. Highlights which have made it to the new Warner Classics box include a tribute to Ferruccio Busoni in his anniversary year, with Renaud Capuçon the soloist in the Violin Concerto. Capuçon is also joined by pianist Nicholas Angelich and an ensemble of local wind soloists for a performance of Berg’s Chamber Concerto.

However, all eyes and ears will be on the Argentine pianist’s contributions, which are generously represented on the set. They include accompanying the Greek violinist Tedi Papavrami in the C minor Violin Sonata of Bach; a duet arrangement of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with Kovacevich; Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos with Sergey Babayan; and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Ravel’s Concerto in G.

But the set opens, inevitably, with her new Gaspard. According to the concert reviewer of the Italian Musica magazine, Argerich retained ‘all the rhythmic but above all dynamic finesse that she had already shown in the 1970s, with a technical glitter virtually unchanged. I do not think any pianist at the age of 75, even from the past, could match her.’




Warner Classics 0190295831653 (3CD)


Argerich was Pianist magazine’s issue 86 cover. Print copies sold out almost immediately, but you can still get hold of the digital issue


Main image: © Sonja Werner

Back to News

29/08/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Right to Practise Upheld by UK Court

BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist James Carrabino has won the right to practise at his London home ...

Two Daniel Barenboim box sets to be released this November

To mark his 75th birthday on 15 November, Sony and DG release two gigantic box sets ...

Jools Holland Teams up with José Feliciano for New Album

Jools Holland teams up with music legend José Feliciano for new album 'As You See Me Now' and tour. ...

Dmitri Alexeev to give 70th birthday recital

The Russian keyboard legend celebrates in style at St John’s Smith Square on 2 November ...

Other News

Yamaha reveals the all-new AvantGrand NU1X

Yamaha’s flagship CFX concert Grand and Bösendorfer Imperial combine in new AvantGrand NU1X ...

Scottish International Piano Competition Winner Announced

Turkish pianist Can Çakmur has been named the 11th winner of the Competition ...

A new home for Birmingham Conservatoire

£57m conservatoire gives UK music education a shot in the arm ...

Martha Argerich to perform in Cleveland this October!

In her first-ever Cleveland appearance, she teams up with friend and colleague Sergei Babayan ...