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Martha Argerich & Mischa Maisky (R. Shchedrin, C. Franck, A. Dvorák, D. Shostakovich)
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- RODION SHCHEDRIN (*1932): Doppelkonzert "Romantic Offering", Konzert für Klavier, Violoncello und Orchester (Welturaufführung)
- ANTONIN DVOØÁK (1841-1904): Scherzo capriccioso op. 66
- CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Sonate A-Dur für Klavier und Violoncello
- DMITRI SCHOSTAKOWITSCH (1906-1975): Sinfonie Nr. 9 Es-Dur op. 70
Martha Argerich, piano
Mischa Maisky, violoncello
Neeme Jarvi, Conductor
At one of her rare appearances with orchestra, Martha Argerich, the grande dame of the piano, joined forces with world-famous cellist Mischa Maisky and the fabulous Lucerne Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin - “Romantic Offering”, a double concerto for piano, cello and orchestra dedicated to its very first soloists.
The programme was rounded off by late-Romantic masterpieces by César Franck, Antonín Dvoøák and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of renowned maestro Neeme Järvi.
Argerich is superb in every nuance. Peformance ***** Presentation ***** Extra ***** --BBC Music Magazine,Sept'11
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Shchedrin titles it "Romantic Offering" and regards it as a concerto for two protagonists, male and female. To my ears this is a concerto for two lovers. The first movement opens delicately with some soft notes from the piano answered by a deep sigh from the cello... and the dialogue begins. Themes are expressed and tossed from one partner to the other and passions build up, though still somewhat restrained, the bass notes and taut rhythm pulsating like repressed desire. Emotions run high in the 2nd. movement, allegro. There is no holding back now. The cello sings the lyrical parts whilst the piano continues its urgent and insistent rhythmic line, the bass notes coming fast and furious. Tension mounts. Things come to a head and the movement ends dramatically with a high shriek from the cello and massed strings that is nothing short of a cry of ecstasy ! Then follows a poignant silence before quiet notes from the piano introduce the last movement. Now the cello part is full and melodious and Maisky with his fabulous touch and rubato shows why he is so highly sought after. The movement echoes the themes of the first two and ends gently on a hushed note. Loved it. This is music that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Argerich plays the very difficult piano part with bravura and as for Maisky, wow, what can I say. Will this become standard repertoire ? I certainly hope so .
Back to something more familiar and the next work has Maisky and Argerich collaborating in Cesar Frank's sonata for cello and
piano (original: violin and piano). The lyrical writing for the violin suits Maisky very well. With his fabulous technique and expressive
playing, he shows why he is so highly regarded as a cellist's cellist, and here he simply mesmerizes with beautiful and limpid
lyricism. The cello sounds even better than the original violin and Argerich's sensitive pianism simply made the sonata sound even more exquisite. I just know I will listen to this magical performance again and again.
As if these two fabulous musical offerings are not enough, we have Neeme Jarvi leading the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in a glowing account of Shostakovich's ninth, a version that is as good as any and in fact better than many. The clarinets and flutes impress in the second movement, but it is the opening of the largo fourth that is really special: trumpets, trombones and tuba blaring forth followed by a bassoon solo too beautiful for words. Ensemble playing from the orchestra is top notch and all in all this is a most satisfying performance.
For fans of Maisky and Argerich, this is obviously a must have, but for anyone who loves great music, this must also be highly recommended.
Performance is perfect too. Lucerne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi is so vivid and energetic. Argerich and Maisky know the music even with the world premiere contemporary piece. They were very well prepared.
I wished to be there that night, but this fabulous Bluray recording makes me feel almost I were.
This DVD was recored live in February 2011 at the Lucerne Concert Hall - the raison d'etre being the premiere of a work written by Russian composer Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin especially for Martha Argerich and Misha Maisky, often her partner in performances. That particular piece, The Double Concerto for Piano and Cello, 'Romantic Offering'', is accessible and flashy and, as we have come to expect from this composer, the percussive elements are a main focus (refer to his Carmen Suite). In the last movement the work stresses lyricism and it is here that Argerich and Miasky glow. The other work that truly gives Argerich and Miasky the opportunity to display their considerable talents is the César Franck: Violin Sonata in A major, as arranged for cello and piano. The full range of the long collaborative experiences shines in their execution of this only semi-interesting piece.
The concert opens with a rousing performance of Dvo'rák's Scherzo capriccioso with Neeme Järvi conducting the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the final work is a very solid and exciting reading of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, a work Järvi always performs well. In all, the DVD captures an exciting concert - a world premiere for the guest artists, the opportunity to actually see Argerich with Miasky, and Järvi's obvious compatibility with the Lucerne Orchestra. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, August 11