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The festival’s principal sponsor has now withdrawn its funding, and so the final edition took place in June 2016.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

Pianist Alexei Volodin to display the allure of Medtner in ‘Storytellers’ programme

On Monday 27 November, at Merchant Taylors' Hall, London ...

Lang Lang in need of further rest

Slow recovery from tendonitis sparks career speculation as Lang Lang cancels again ...

TfL and Yamaha Music launch #Platform88 to place pianos across the Tube network

with the help of multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Tokio Myers ...

Old keyboards & new technology

Unrivalled online museum of musical curiosities opens its digital doors ...

Other News

CONCERT REVIEW: Duo Martha Argerich & Sergei Babayan receive standing ovation

With the help of her friend, Argerich's first-ever appearance in Cleveland proves to be sensational ...

Winner of 2017 Arthur Rubinstein Competition to appear in London

Szymon Nehring gives Wigmore Hall debut on Sunday 3 December 2017 ...

Why is the piano so popular?

Royal College of Music student Alec Coles-Aldridge takes a look at why the piano is such a popular instrument ...

An English Rachmaninov

Simon Callaghan talks to Peter Quantrill about his latest recording of Roger Sacheverell Coke ...