There are very few good pianists, many average ones, and only one Martha Argerich.
Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1941, this shooting star of the piano galaxy - who would've become a doctor had music not managed to tempt her away - has barely ever followed in anyone else's footsteps, and it works. Despite the range of her discography, there are no "intégrales", and her calendar is so eclectic it seems like she never signs a contract, if only to preserve her artistic freedom. Independent, unpredictable, impetuous, these are Martha Argerich's trademarks. Her music is both her sensuality and her family, working with a whole host of collaborators, from Daniel Barenboim to Gidon Kremer, Charles Dutoit and Stephen Kovacevich.
Under the guidance of the formidable Italian pianist Vincenzo Scaramuzza, Martha Argerich experienced success early, at only 7 years old, when she gave her first concert at the Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires, where she played Mozart's Concerto n20 by Mozart, and Beethoven's Concerto n1. After emigrating to Europe at the age of 14, she was tutored by a number of greats, including Fiedrich Gulda in Vienna - her primary tutor, with whom she studied for 18 months - as well as Nikita Magaloff in Geneva, and Arturo Benedotto Michelangeli, who she sought out during a crisis of confidence when she hit 20, despite already being an international star for years. Admittedly, she only had 4 "lessons" with the Italian maestro, but this encounter quickly proved fundamental to her development, since she found her way to the big stage soon afterwards. Once there, she would only leave briefly, for moments of retreat and silence.
For years now, Martha Argerich has surrounded herself with young musicians who took her as their muse, based in her house in Brussells, which has become a genuine nursery for success. Truly an indescribable artiste but, oh, how extraordinary.
© Qobuz (MT) – 11/2014
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