ARGERICH Complete Chopin Recordings 4796068

Chopin plays to her strengths, because it allows her to show formidable virtuosity, and also her ability to take an original view of the interpretation of even the best known works. Chopin, one suspects, played his own music really flexibly, and so does Argerich, which makes most of these recordings from 1959ż2000 so special . . . Chopin's Third Piano Sonata, one of the finest offerings here. Really there is nothing more to say. Just put these recordings on and be transported to a different world; sometimes a wayward one, but always a world worth exploring.

The first CD contains a performance (1974) of the Sonata No. 2, with one of the fiercest first movements one could hope to hear. The Scherzo No. 2 is even more spectacular in its virtuosity. But the performance (1967) of the third movement of the Sonata No. 3 shows that the young Argerich was incomparable in controlling soft dynamics and a deceptively simple melodic line. The performance of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 (1968) with Abbado and the London Symphony is technically superb but also memorable for its beautiful phrasing, from both soloist and orchestra. And has anyone before or since played the opening theme of the last movement with such unbridled playfulness? . . . [the Introduction and "Polonaise brillante" Op. 3 and the Sonata Op. 65, both for cello and piano] with Rostropovich are splendid examples of two great artists at the top of their form, beautifully recorded.

. . . [listening to Argerich's Chopin] is a reminder of her ability to transcend sudden fears and uncertainties. Here, in super-abundance, is all of her fantasy and freedom, much of it like blazing sunlight. Her G minor Ballade will make even the most sanguine listener's heart beat dangerously fast, while her mercurial way in her selection of Mazurkas captures all of their elusive magic. What fluidity, ease and confidentiality in the opening page of the F major Nocturne before the unleashing of its central storm . . . Her fire-storm, or primal scream, in the B flat minor Prelude (No 16) is the fiercest of all virtuoso displays but her unfaultering poise in the central Elysium of the Funeral March from the Op 35 Sonata is hardly less remarkable . . . These are among the finest of all reissues.

. . . her flame-throwing virtuosity combines with an acute sensitivity to recreate all of Chopin's genius.

The first CD contains a recording of the Sonata No. 2 from 1974 with one of the fieriest first movements one could hope to hear. The Scherzo No. 2 is even more spectacular in its virtuosity. But the recording of the third movement of the Sonata No. 3 from 1967 shows that the young Argerich was also incomparable in controlling soft dynamics and a deceptively simple melodic line.

Quel plaisir de retrouver les célčbres "Préludes", incandescents, frémissants, les sonates, le Scherzo no. 3 en état de lévitation.