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Martha Argerich

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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 28, 1996
Robert Schumann, Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, Andante and Variations and other works, performed by pianists Martha Argerich, Alexander Rabinovitch, violist Nobuko Imai, cellist Mischa Maisky and others (EMI Classics 5 55484); Schumann, Sonatas Nos. 1-3 for violin and piano, performed by violinist Donald Weilerstein and pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein (Azica ACD-71204); Schumann, Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, and other works, performed by violinist-violist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Marc Neikrug (RCA 09026-68052)
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1999
Anne-Sophie MutterBeethoven Sonatas (Deutsche Grammophon 457619)Although Deutsche Grammophon touts Anne-Sophie Mutter (as she touts herself) as the first woman violinist to record all 10 of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano, her much-publicized new set of these works was actually preceded (by more than a decade) by those of both Nell Gottovsky (Pyramid) and Takako Nishiziki (Naxos). What is true is that Mutter is the first female instrumentalist deemed big enough a star to be indulged in such a project by one of the recording industry's giant labels.
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FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN STAFF | May 24, 1996
To someone who had eagerly anticipated hearing the young Norwegian pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes, yesterday's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program in Meyerhoff Hall was something of a disappointment.There was nothing wrong with Andsnes' performance of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3. In fact, it was terrific. He has the fingers for this piece, he has a simply enormous sound that never turns brittle and his athleticism eschews neither imagination or poetry. All that his performance lacked was the chill that one used to hear in the performances of pianists such as Byron Janis or that one hears today from Martha Argerich -- on the occasions when she shows up.But a performance of a concerto depends upon much more than the soloist.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN STAFF | May 24, 1996
To someone who had eagerly anticipated hearing the young Norwegian pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes, yesterday's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program in Meyerhoff Hall was something of a disappointment.There was nothing wrong with Andsnes' performance of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3. In fact, it was terrific. He has the fingers for this piece, he has a simply enormous sound that never turns brittle and his athleticism eschews neither imagination or poetry. All that his performance lacked was the chill that one used to hear in the performances of pianists such as Byron Janis or that one hears today from Martha Argerich -- on the occasions when she shows up.But a performance of a concerto depends upon much more than the soloist.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 1, 1994
It's an unlucky day, even for Vladimir Bakk.The 49-year-old Moscow-born pianist has just finished a three-day marathon in the dentist's chair to replace teeth he lost almost 20 years ago when KGB goons beat him up, breaking his nose and his jaw. He returns home to discover that approximately $8,000 worth of concerts scheduled in Buenos Aires may have to be canceled because of an Argentine concert manager's negligence. That means Bakk should not have paid the dentist $2,400 of the $3,000 that one of his admirers, a world-famous pianist living in Switzerland, had sent to help pay his living expenses.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1999
Anne-Sophie MutterBeethoven Sonatas (Deutsche Grammophon 457619)Although Deutsche Grammophon touts Anne-Sophie Mutter (as she touts herself) as the first woman violinist to record all 10 of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano, her much-publicized new set of these works was actually preceded (by more than a decade) by those of both Nell Gottovsky (Pyramid) and Takako Nishiziki (Naxos). What is true is that Mutter is the first female instrumentalist deemed big enough a star to be indulged in such a project by one of the recording industry's giant labels.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 23, 1995
In Charles Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop," a carnival worker named Short asks Mr. Vuffin, owner of a sideshow, what happens to giants after they retire."
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | August 8, 1993
While this may not come as a surprise to many of my readers, I'm sometimes off base in my musical judgments.This came home with startling (and ego-deflating) clarity recently when I received Evgeny Kissin's new recording of the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (RCA Red Seal). There is no recent recording for which I waited with such anticipation. I visited Boston in January to hear Kissin's three performances of the piece -- the ones from which the recording was made.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | March 13, 1995
In the second half of his recital yesterday afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art, pianist Mark Markham equaled a world record. His performance of Liszt's gargantuan, sprawling Sonata in B Minor took less than 26 minutes -- most take about a half-hour -- beat by a nose those of the young Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein and equaled that of the redoubtable Martha Argerich.Markham's performance was not a flashy stunt but a profoundly musical return to the grand manner in which the B Minor Sonata used to be played.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 18, 2002
Martha Argerich is a phenomenal pianist who deserves an ever-glowing spotlight. Too bad she insists on sharing it. Not that I would begrudge any opportunity to hear the Argentine wonder. But throughout her concert with cellist Mischa Maisky at the Kennedy Center Wednesday night - her first D.C. appearance in more than three decades - I kept wishing she had the stage to herself. For a long while now, Argerich has eschewed solo recitals in favor of chamber music collaborations or appearances with orchestras.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 28, 1996
Robert Schumann, Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, Andante and Variations and other works, performed by pianists Martha Argerich, Alexander Rabinovitch, violist Nobuko Imai, cellist Mischa Maisky and others (EMI Classics 5 55484); Schumann, Sonatas Nos. 1-3 for violin and piano, performed by violinist Donald Weilerstein and pianist Vivian Hornik Weilerstein (Azica ACD-71204); Schumann, Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, and other works, performed by violinist-violist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Marc Neikrug (RCA 09026-68052)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 23, 1995
In Charles Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop," a carnival worker named Short asks Mr. Vuffin, owner of a sideshow, what happens to giants after they retire."
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 1, 1994
It's an unlucky day, even for Vladimir Bakk.The 49-year-old Moscow-born pianist has just finished a three-day marathon in the dentist's chair to replace teeth he lost almost 20 years ago when KGB goons beat him up, breaking his nose and his jaw. He returns home to discover that approximately $8,000 worth of concerts scheduled in Buenos Aires may have to be canceled because of an Argentine concert manager's negligence. That means Bakk should not have paid the dentist $2,400 of the $3,000 that one of his admirers, a world-famous pianist living in Switzerland, had sent to help pay his living expenses.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | August 8, 1993
While this may not come as a surprise to many of my readers, I'm sometimes off base in my musical judgments.This came home with startling (and ego-deflating) clarity recently when I received Evgeny Kissin's new recording of the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (RCA Red Seal). There is no recent recording for which I waited with such anticipation. I visited Boston in January to hear Kissin's three performances of the piece -- the ones from which the recording was made.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | January 10, 1992
Alexander Toradze's account of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto is both fascinating and perverse, enthralling and infuriating.The performance that the 39-year-old Georgian-born, Russian-trained pianist gave of the piece last night in Meyerhoff Hall with the Baltimore Symphony and guest conductor Zdenek Macal was the slowest that this listener has ever heard.At about 48 minutes, it was a full quarter of an hour longer than the first recorded performances of the composer himself and of Vladimir Horowitz (albeit with a few cuts)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | August 14, 1994
Beethoven, Piano Quartet in E flat (opus 16); Schumann, Piano Quartet in E flat (opus 47). Performed by pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Isaac Stern, violist Jaime Laredo and cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Sony Classical SK 53 339)This music is not well served by this all-star roster. For starters, the Beethoven is heard in the composer's arrangement for piano and strings of his piano-and-winds original. The version for strings sounds bland compared to the piquant original, with the greater range of color made available through the contrasts of the timbre of the piano with those of the winds.
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