Martha Argerich Project – with Gautier Capuçon, cello, Gabrielle Balducci, piano, Akané Sakai, piano -Lily, Mischa, Sasha Maisky – Alexander Gurning, piano – Jura Margulis, piano – 2011 Lugano – broadcast live – June 22, 2011 – RSI/Radio France –
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This is a lovely concert. Pure music-making at its absolute best. An annual event put on by Martha Argerich with friends, colleagues and protégés, taking over the RSI Auditorium in Lugano Switzerland every Summer from 2001-2016, playing seldom heard works, newly discovered works and infusing it all with a sense of boundless and infectious joy.
The concert begins (after some last-minute vamping by the French and Italian announcers) with a performance of the two-piano version of Liszt’s Mazeppa, featuring Gabrielle Balducci and Akané Sakai – followed by two works from Robert Schumann; Füncke im Volkston op. 102 and Phantaisiestücke op 73 with Gautier Capuçon and Martha Argerich – then followed by the Maisky aggregation (Lily, Mischa and Sascha) in a performance of the Trio number 1 by Brahms and ending with a Beethoven/Liszt transcription for duo pianos of the Finale from Beethoven’s 9th featuring Alexander Gurning and Jura Margulis, pianos.
Because it’s live, there’s a goodly amount of time spent “padding” with the Italian announcer providing the color and the French announcer providing the simultaneous translation. So it gets a little long-winded in spots, but it’s all part of the exciting nature of this concert, so I left it in.
Excerpts from this series, and particularly this concert, were issued by Warner-EMI in 2012. Subsequent festival excerpts have come out for 2013,2014, 2015 and 2016 also for Warner/EMI.
With the festival coming to a close in 2016 over lack of financial support from the Swiss government, the concept hasn’t been abandoned, but was taken up in Hamburg last year and this year it continues in Beppu Japan as Argerich’s Meeting Point. So, further evidence you can’t keep a good thing down.
Enjoy this one and grab the commercial releases of the others when you get a chance.