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Argerich;Martha/Various 2010: [Blu-ray] [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Ideale Audience Intl
  • Release Date: June 28 2011
  • ASIN: B004YL3X6E

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Inimitable Martha Argerich! July 13 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It is a well-known fact that the brilliant pianist Martha Argerich cancels more concerts than she performs, and that is expected and so not disturbing to symphony audience subscribers. However, lest we forget just how electrifying a performer and solid a musician she really is, here is a testimony from the Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps - a format she rarely misses. These recordings are from the 2009 Festival and the 2010 Festival and each was recorded live. Argerich collaborates with Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Verbier Chamber Orchestra in fresh and sparkling performances of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major (form 2009) and the Shostakovich Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet, and String Orchestra, Op. 35 (better known as his Piano Concerto No. 1) with David Guerrier, trumpet. Argerich has recorded these works before and played them in public many times, but this particular set of performances is dazzling. Such flair and abandonment and yet still absolutely in line with the composers' concepts.

There are two encores here - in the 2009 performance there is a performance of the Scarlatti Sonata in D minor which Argerich tosses off with aplomb and in the 2010 coupling with the Shostakovich, Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Verbier Chamber Orchestra given an airy and lovely lift to Bizet's Symphony in C major. All of this is in the festival atmosphere that doubtless adds to the vigor and sparkle of these performances. Yes, the sound could be better and the visual could be technically improved, but the sense of presence of Martha Argerich (now 70 years old) is close to overwhelming. A wonderful memento for this great lady of the keyboard Grady Harp, July 11
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Superb performances compromised by a stereo only recording July 7 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
Martha Argerich is widely respected as one of the world's finest pianists. Her recordings are much sought after especially as she has been so long reluctant to enter recording studios, much preferring to be recorded 'live' at a very few concerts - usually in the company of friends. These recordings from Verbier in 2009 and 2010 are therefore examples of very few such events and inevitably will be of great interest to many collectors.

Argerich has a considerable reputation as a fine Beethoven pianist and on this occasion she does not disappoint. This performance of one of Beethoven's earlier concertos has considerable sparkle throughout based on her usual tight control of rhythm modified by the variations of touch and phrasing that are her hallmarks. The scale of the performance is correctly kept within the emotional scale of the compositional period. An exquisite performance of a Scarlatti sonata is added as an encore to the delight of the enthusiastic audience.

Much the same can be said of her interpretation of Shostakovich's first piano concerto which, unusually, also features a solo trumpet role. Shostakovich wrote his two piano concertos with less technical demands for the pianist to make them easier to perform. This in no way diminishes their respective enjoyment for the audience and in the first concerto as performed here there is the added interest of the solo trumpet part to savour. The two instruments maintain a dialogue throughout, the trumpet being muted in the central slow movement and then, in the last movement, introducing a melody strongly reminiscent of `When Jenny lies a-sleeping'. The whole piece finishes with a series of fanfare-like flourishes in a typical trumpet idiom. For this highly melodic and witty concerto Argerich is joined by the French trumpeter David Guerrier.

The disc is rounded off with a crisp and enjoyable performance of Bizet's youthful symphony in C which nicely illustrates the high standards of this youthful festival orchestra under the leadership of conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy.

This is a very enjoyable disc which will be much sought-after by legions of Argerich supporters. However, there is one flaw which will no doubt raise considerable frustration and justifiable irritation. As is so often the case at Verbier, the concert has been recorded in stereo only and this needs to be seen as an extraordinary recording decision bearing in mind the critical standing of Argerich coupled with the relative rarity of her recordings.

Many will see this as a considerable error when the disc is marketed as a premium price Blu-ray and therefore supposedly at the cutting edge of recording technology. The stereo is of good quality and the actual imaging and camera work is fine but this is scant compensation for such a situation.

For this reason and for this reason alone, a reduction of one star is a necessary adjustment and a fair comment. Producers of future recordings at Verbier should take note. This error is both a great shame and a dreadful lost opportunity which should not be repeated.

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Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

I thought that you might like to know that before I buy a recording I now look through all the reviews to see if you have posted one. Your assessments and opinions are invaluable. Thank you. (US review)

I particularly like your format of review. They give the prospective purchaser an idea of the style of the playing and relevant comparisons. They are succinct. Keep up the good work! (UK review)

I'm sure there are many other serious collectors, besides myself, who wait for your synopsis and opinion before spending their hard-earned money on new releases...
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good...But not Very well. Jan. 29 2012
By Jose Carlos Silva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I did purchase this blue ray because I am locking for perfect performance of all pianos concertos from Beethoven. I think I am a perfectionist. To me this one item did not very well. To me stereo and not surround sound are not a problem. Like reference of perfectionism of five pianos concertos from Beethoven I have nominated Claudio Arrau because I do have and have been hearing that on Phillips cds audio. Shostakovich, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Bizet's symphony and the Verbier Chamber Orchestra are just fine.
8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
no surround sound from Verbier again! May 30 2011
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
For those of us expected to pay $30 or so for a blueray disc with NO surround sound, only stereo, this is a disgrace! These performances seem like they might be worth having, but to saddle a blueray performance with only stereo sound? What's the matter with this label?

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