Martha Argerich – Evening Talks, Blu-ray (2002/2014)

Martha Argerich – Evening Talks, Blu-ray (2002/2014)

Director: Georges Gachot
Performers: Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire, Friedrich Gulda, Eduardo Hubert, others, Wurttemberg Chamber Orch./Jörg Faerber
Studio: Bayerischer Rundfunk/ Euroarts 3073424 (10/28/14) [Distr. by Naxos]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080i HD color
Audio: English PCM 2:0 & DTS-HD MA surround
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese
Extras: Six concerts & rehearsals
No region code
Length: Documentary – 63 min., Extras – 38 min.
Rating: *****

This is the Blu-ray re-release of a popular documentary on Argerich, one of the most imaginative pianists of our time. The film won all sorts of awards at various European film festivals in 2002. The French director has Argerich sharing her memories, her great appetite for music-making, her doubts, her often feeing “lonely” onstage by herself, and therefore her recent concentration on duo work with other artists and piano concertos.

She’s sort of a rebel at heart, who reminds me of violinist Salerno-Sonnenberg. She performs with some of her musical friends, including her teacher Friedrich Gulda, and Nelson Freire. She speaks of her interesting relationships with various long-dead composers and various piano pieces. Her deciding to be a concert pianist came about when as a child she heard Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, but she never now performs that work in public. Their are 17 clips of her performing various works, and the smashing finale is the finale of Ravel’s G Major Piano Concerto with Charles Dutoit conducting. They include a bit of black & white footage of Argerich performing as a youngster. She really lives the music.

The separate section of concerts and rehearsals should not be missed. The two Piazzolla tangos, for two pianos and a hardly-needed drummer, is great fun to experience. The screen images include some shots of Bueno Aires and her working with various professional fellow artists. The documentary has seven sections: Prologue, Film, Piazzolla, Composers, Piano Competitions, Schumann Piano Concerto and Chamber music.

—John Sunier

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