Martha Argerich at the Verbier Festival
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19 [29:24]
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Sonata in D minor, K.141 [3:35]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor, Op.35* [23:07]
Georges BIZET (1838-1875)
Symphony in C major [29:20]
Martha Argerich (piano); David Guerrier (trumpet)*
Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra/Gábor Takács-Nagy
rec. live, Verbier Festival, Switzerland, 22 July 2010 (Beethoven, Scarlatti); 17 July 2010 (Shostakovich, Bizet)
Picture format: 16:9/1080i Full HD
Sound PCM Stereo only
Region 0 (worldwide)
This disc is one of a series from this stable featuring Martha Argerich. Two others are also from the Verbier Festival where the Argentinean piano superstar has been performing since 1997. Last year she chalked up no fewer than the 11th appearance each one eagerly awaited by her legions of fans.  A previous reviewer said this disc was for Argerich fans only. I make no apology for falling into that category ... and we number in our tens of thousands I’ve no doubt. 

Listening to the Beethoven and the rapturous applause and shrieks of delight that greeted its close you are left in no doubt as to the audience’s collective opinion.  I can find nothing to take exception to I must say; the playing is impeccable, accurate and perfectly engaging.  She has an uncanny ability to make everything she plays sound special. She never falls into a style that she applies to other composers’ works. Instead she finds a unique voice for each and you are hard pressed to imagine the composers themselves taking issue with her interpretation.  The little gem of the Scarlatti sonata bubbles and fizzes with energetic delight.  The Shostakovich likewise is played in a way that emphasises the joyful nature of the work. Again I find no issues with it or the trumpet soloist which my fellow reviewer did. The music is so infectious and Argerich’s dexterity is amply demonstrated with some great filming of her hands as they dash up and down the keyboard. It is pleasing to see Gábor Takács-Nagy’s face as he conducts. If ever there was an example of a conductor enjoying the very process of conducting surely this must be it. His face is illuminated with impish delight throughout the whole disc and particularly in the final work, Bizet’s effervescent, youthful symphony in C.  The orchestra is not one I know but they respond well to their maestro. 

Am I too easily pleased - I don’t know but I have to let my ears do the work as I am unable to sit looking at a score to check in detail what is being done. My ears have given it my seal of approval for what it’s worth and I enjoyed it.
Steve Arloff  
Argerich has an uncanny ability to make everything she plays sound special.