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Pno Ctos Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 15 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000C2J8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
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1. I. Allegro brioso
2. II. Andante assai
3. III. Allegro scherzando
4. I. Allegretto
5. II. Adagio religioso -[poco più mosso] - tempo I
6. III. Allegro vivace - [presto]
7. I. Andante - Allegro
8. II. Tema (Andantino) & Variations
9. III. Allegro ma non troppo - meno mosso - Allegro

Product Description

The Prokofiev No. 1, with its intense driving opening and closing and its dreamy slow movement, is one of the most spectacularly inventive works ever to be offered as a graduation exercise; the future Soviet conformist won the Rubinstein prize, but the press called for his incarceration as a lunatic; perhaps his finest concerto, the Piano Concerto No. 3, is a less flashy work, but even dreamier and even more delightful--Prokofiev could be a charmer when he wanted to. As could Bartók--his Third Concerto starts with experimental pyrotechnics of the sort we associate with its two predecessors, and moves in its finale, without betraying their radical promise, to a Romantic Big Tune to end all such. What these three concertos have in common--their combination of aggressive athletic solo writing with a bitter-sweet emotional content--is precisely what makes Martha Argerich one of their ideal interpreters. The sensitive intelligence of her playing is matched by its ruthless brilliance of sound and energy; Charles Dutoit's discreet management of orchestral sound make these very much soloist-dominated performances, unlike some recordings of the Prokofiev 1 and Bartók 3 where the temptations offered by the orchestration are too much for some conductors. --Roz Kaveney

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
Two of the three concertos represented here are first recordings for Argerich. The first piano concerto of Prokofiev is real fun to listen to. As Argerich herself admits, she understands the composer's sense of humour, and 'his sensitivity'. Her performances reveal the subtleties of the score as well as the seemingly banal sense of humour Prokofiev injects into his music. And, as always, her technique is faultless.
Her Bartok is again technically brilliant. Her intuitive musicality is put into wonderful use, as it sounds well-thought-out, but it also sounds naturally spontaneous.
I am afraid to say the Prokofiev 3rd concerto fares less well. And for this, I put the blame on Dutoit, not Argerich.
After the lyrical slow introduction, the piano introduces the main theme. All is fine at the start. But less than one minute after the pianist has entered, one hears strange tempi fluctuations from Argerich. They not only sound forced, but they don't make musical sense. For example, where the piano has repeated runs in octaves, here at 6:21, Argerich starts very quickly, but slows down (a very subtle change, but noticeable). To me, it sounds as if Dutoit is forcing her to keep her speed at a safe measure. That is the last thing a soloist needs, to be forced by a conductor. Isn't a conductor supposed 'support' a soloist?? (in the second octave runs, repeated at 9:09, the same thing happens, only it is much more noticeable)
While all this is happening, one can sense that she doesn't like all the pushing around she is getting from Mr. Dutoit. Compared to her first recording, the whole performance takes almost 3 minutes longer than her 1967 recording.
Having said all that, I hear things in the piano part I didn't hear before, enhancing one's knowledge and enjoyment of the music.
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Format: Audio CD
And dumbstruck, as well!
This CD is so incredible I can scarcely think or sit still, no less decide where to begin extolling its endless virtues. Well, helter-skelter it is, then, on enthusiasm gone amok.
Listen, for example, to the majestic unfurling of the glorious opening Allegro brioso of Concerto No. 1... and, then, after a thrilling horn fanfare, Argerich comes in with the most phenomenal, articulated, running passagework. It takes my breath away! Hear how well Argerich has "aged" playing this work, her panache, her quiet intensity. There's no fierceness anymore, no aggression, just revelation and a manifold interconnectedness with the music.
It's moments like this, throughout, that propel this performance, that make it so completely appealing and uncanny.
Listen, again, for instance, to the flutes' eerie fluttering at around the 28 second mark into the Andante assai... and then Argerich's magical piano entry whispers in, cat-like and hushed. This is soul-stirring stuff! Unforgettable playing of the most sensitive kind.
Prokofiev? I'd hardly recognize you.
Indeed, in my experience, this is the only recording of his First Piano Concerto wherein the relentless keyboard banging and typical hectoring orchestral volatility take a subservient role to the abundant beauties imbued in this music. (The exact same truth holds for the Third Concerto, as well, needless to say.)
Continuing then: Listen to how Argerich and Dutoit pursue the cyclical material of the Allegro scherzando finale to a hair-raising conclusion. I felt like jumping to my feet and applauding! (Actually, I think I did.)
As if this weren't enough, Prokofiev's Third shimmers and glows in the outer movements and is translucent in the Andantino "variations.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't worry about the nit pickers. If you love this music, this is a fabulous performance of each of these great pieces. If you don't know this music, you owe it to yourself to get this CD and listen to it over and over again.
Argerich isn't just an important living pianist, she is one of the all time greats. Whether you always agree with her choices or not, she is always compelling. She is a treasure.
Here, the Bartok is performed by Argerich in an absolutely wonderful way. The orchestra does a spectacular job in making this music sounds as wonderful as it is.
The two Prokofiev concertos (1 & 3) are done with humor and energy as well as with intellect and taste.
Look, if you are still trying to get into twentieth century music, here is a CD that can help you make that move. These pieces are proof of the beauty and greatness of music making in the last century.
Listening to this CD is as much fun and intoxicating as your favorite roller coaster ride.
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Format: Audio CD
Martha Argerich has sustained a brilliant career and just seems to become more eloquent with the passing years, adding a rich mysticism to her volcanic energy. And what better concerti to demonstrate these approaches than those on this stunning CD: Prokofiev #1,3 and Bartok #3. Technical perfection would seem an unexplainable bedfellow with a pianist who has always stressed passion and comunication in her idiomatic performances both on the concert stage and on the recorded realm. But that is one of the reasons Argerich has reigned the keyboard for so long. Her ability to dash off the Prokofiev 3rd with such apparent ease allows her to serve the composer's brittle, biting cynicism while retaining the eloquence of the langorous second movement. Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Orchestra are fine companions, if not the sonic splendor source of other better orchestras. It simply works here. This is most definitely a "Desert Isle" must for the CD collection.
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