Chopin · Liszt - Martha Argerich · The London Symphony Orchestra · Claudio Abbado
- 180 gram LP w/ Standard Sleeve
- Recording: Feburary 1968 at Walthamstow Townhall, London by Heinz Wildhagen
The virtuoso concerto is often criticised by audiences chatting in the concert-hall foyer as being superficial and narcistic, but a brilliant soloist performing with a dramatic and sonorous orchestra certainly has no need for excuses. Let’s be honest: we all want to enjoy the brilliance and ecstasy of such music. Putting Chopin’s brilliant youthful work, with which he took Paris by the storm, alongside Liszt’s symphonically structured work with its manifold improvisatory passages is rather like comparing apples and oranges. However, a compilation of the two works on one record is highly desirable, especially when the youthful and athletic Martha Argerich is at the keyboard. She lends Chopin’s dominant piano part elegance, pearly lightness, and brings out his exquisite harmonies to create haunting poetry in music.
Just as effortlessly she brings the sharp contrasts between lyrical airiness and extreme tension to perfection in Liszt’s E flat major concerto. With shivers running down the spine, one eagerly awaits Argerich playing the forceful passages, where her complete control is particularly evident in the phenomenal chordal passages.