Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, magical playing
There are good performances and very good performances. Then there are performances like this...
Argerich's Rachmaninov 3rd is one of those very rare performances which seem to transcend the composition itself; in her hands it becomes greater music than we knew it to be.
Throughout, her playing and that of the RSO is alert, probing, compelling. The Allegro is...
Published on 5 Feb 2002 by Mark Too

versus
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Argerich wallows in sentimentality, but fails to deliver inward beauty
I am a real Rachmaninov fan. Few composers receive as large a share of my musical appreciation as Rachmaninov. His music is full of a tremendous power and passion, combined with that wondrous, ever-present melancholy. And out of his creative output, his 3rd Piano Concerto is almost certainly near the top of the list of his greatest compositions. It's overflowing with...
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by Andrew R. Barnard


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, magical playing, 5 Feb 2002
By 
Mark Too "Twenty" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
There are good performances and very good performances. Then there are performances like this...
Argerich's Rachmaninov 3rd is one of those very rare performances which seem to transcend the composition itself; in her hands it becomes greater music than we knew it to be.
Throughout, her playing and that of the RSO is alert, probing, compelling. The Allegro is brooding, flowing, tension-filled; touching, yet with a sense of massive energy barely held under control. The Intermezzo is wonderfully expressive; shifting in an instant from solitary melancholy to full-blown tragedy, and always with a sense of the explosion to come. In the finale itself, the tension is finally released; there is everything from blistering passion to the dancing of angels. The first time I heard it, I was moved to tears.
Incidentally, the Tchaikovsky is also very, very good; not quite great, but well worth having.
There is nothing to think about, nothing to compare this with; if you want Rachimaninov's 3rd (or even if you don't!) you should buy this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fiery pianist performs an opulent masterpiece, 22 Feb 2013
By 
Serghiou Const (Nicosia, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Martha Argerich is undoubtedly the perfect match for Rachmaninov's Third, one of the most daunting and opulent of Piano concertos. On this disc she is not simply able to tame but to dominate its music which is of the highest passion and pianistic intimacy and intensity. Her performance is sensuous, impulsive and especially in the finale's fierce momentum acutely resonating the Rachmaninov's idiom, to subtlety and rhetoric alike, while at the same time conveying her own formidable force and individuality. While her performance is throughout magnificent, it is in the finale that it is truly stunning.

In conclusion a transcendental performance of Rachmaninov's Third.

The Tchaikovsky First Piano concerto though undoubtedly a beautiful piece of music, pales by comparison.

Buy the disc primarily for Rachmaninov's Third.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wow!" "Fabulous!", 25 Sep 2007
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Martha Agerich! That reclusive super-genious of the semi-modern front ranks of poetic pianism! No one can or ever could quite nail the romantic warhorses of the piano as she did. Especially the absolute finest of the Rach. 3rd and the Tch. 1st ever recorded live or otherwise. Such wonderful commitment she brings to the grand structures of these magnificent works. Her thunderous octaves, exquisite intimacy in the quieter passages, and the total fire she puts forth toward the audience could surely never be surpassed! There couldn't be finer support from the stunning orchestras and conductors, either. An absolute must at any price!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Rachmaninov piano concerto no 3 etc, 10 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Argerich rightly is well known for her performances of these concertoes and I can only guess at the technical prowess required to play them so dazzlingly well. For those who find the Rachmaninov a little heavy going then they have the beautifully lyrical Tchaikovsky concerto to provide some lighter enjoyment. I particularly liked the energetic finales of both concertoes. Surely these must be among the very greatest concerotes ever written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Find a better way to spend 7.32, 22 Feb 2014
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
I agree with another reviewer that the Rachmaninoff it better than the Tchaikovsky but that's the fault of the conductor, not Agerich. Riccardo Chailly is with her all the way and, to be honest, you'd be very hard pressed to find a better performance of the Rach 3. It is so, so powerful and errs just on the right side of sentiment,

Martha never gives a bad performance but she is let down a little by Kondrashin's routine accompaniment in the Tchaikovsky. But she still displays a virtuoso technique which you'll find it hard to match.

As I write this, the CD is selling for 7.32. I can't think of a better way for you to spend it. What are you waiting for...?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 10 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
This is just perfection. I never get bored listening to Martha Argerich's version of Rachmaninov's 3rd piano concerto. This is one of my most listened to CDs in my collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fabulous playing, 25 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
I always thought this concerto overlong and bombastic. How wrong I was. Argerich's long awaited live performance is stupendous. Turn it up loud and be blown away . Her playing like a firestorm and quiet poetry by turns is in a class of its own. Buy it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Argerich wallows in sentimentality, but fails to deliver inward beauty, 4 Jan 2011
By 
Andrew R. Barnard (Leola, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
I am a real Rachmaninov fan. Few composers receive as large a share of my musical appreciation as Rachmaninov. His music is full of a tremendous power and passion, combined with that wondrous, ever-present melancholy. And out of his creative output, his 3rd Piano Concerto is almost certainly near the top of the list of his greatest compositions. It's overflowing with sheer melodic strength and a structural strength that puts it above, in some respects, the more popular 2nd Concerto.

How does Argerich do in delivering this obvious masterpiece? Well, I personally don't feel that she does a satisfying job. Why? Well, there are, as I said earlier, two aspects that characterize Rachmaninov as a composer: passion and melancholy. Argerich gives a rather violent approach to this music that certainly could be considered passionate. But there is a side to Rachmaninov that she doesn't touch - resignation and retrospection. While the listener is sure to go away feeling excited, one will not go away feeling like they are on the verge of a life-changing experience.

Let me explain in more detail. For me, Rachmaninov's music is overflowing with so much obvious sentiment and emotion that the performer does not need to try to bring excessive emotion out of the music - it's already there. Think of Rachmaninov as a person. Was he outwardly emotional? No, he wasn't. Did he desire that his music be played with hysteria and in-your-face excitement? I'm not convinced. I think the performer should unveil the wonderful emotion in a careful, thought-provoking way while avoiding any exaggeration.

The Rachmaninov that Argerich attempts to portray is full of the very hysteria I think Rachmaninov would despise. She attempts to play this concerto at a break-neck speed. She can't afford the racing tempo; there are wrong notes literally right and left. Her tone sounds harsh and almost pounding. One would hope that in the quieter, lyrical moments she would relax and give us beauty. But she doesn't. One almost wants to tap her on the shoulder and let her know that her life isn't at stake. Her partner Chailly on the podium doesn't add much good to the situation. He certainly has a tough job on his hands, as Argerich has a tough time sticking with his tempo. He doesn't do anything appalling or offensive, but he doesn't pull anything all that remarkable from the Berlin Radio Symphony. Argerich certainly overpowers him. I can't help but wonder if he was inwardly frustrated by the whole affair.

Why have so many people been so pleased with this album? No doubt you are thinking, "Well, maybe this guy has some valid points. But why have so many other people been so impressed?" Good question. There are a few answers to this question. First of all, I don't think it is possible to ruin Rachmaninov. As wrong as I think Argerich is, the music is not totally spoilt. Secondly, some people have not had the joy of listening to the types of performances I have and they don't have anything to compare this recording to. Thirdly, some people will still prefer to have their Rachmaninov done with the hysteria Argerich delivers, even after hearing the performances I recommend. While I don't appreciate this recording and I can't make myself enjoy it, I don't consider those inferior who are willing to look past its weaknesses and enjoy it.

If you want to hear Rachmaninov done in a more reflective, thoughtful way, I would strongly recommend Leif Ove Andsnes' recording of the Concerto, with Antonio Pappano and the LSO, that came out in October of 2010 - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No.3 & No.4. Andsnes' technique is absolutely flawless. Listening to his recording is for me a life changing experience. He unleashes powerful excitement without out sounding harsh and he gives tender, affectionate lyricism. One moment the listener will be on the edge of his seat; the next he will be fighting the tears. There are many other great pianists who have recorded this masterpiece, besides Andsnes and Argerich that you may also want to check out. Ashkenazy, Hough, Kissin, among many others, have recorded this concerto.

In closing, I would recommend this recording to those who are still interested and willing to put up with its shortcomings. This recording should also belong in the collection of Classical music connoisseurs, as it is certainly a radical, controversial one. But for the average listener, I would recommend looking elsewhere for a satisfying performance of this touching concerto.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars passionate but over hungry, 8 Nov 2007
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
As to the Rachmaninov recording:
I agree with many Argerich lovers that she has a passionate heart and playing.
I have listened to Rach 3 recordings from Ashkenazy, Janis, Horowitz (3 versions recorded), Shelley, Wild, Cherkassy, Nikolsky, Rachmaninov himself and a couple of others. (Pitty Richter never recorded or played it).
Contrary to the other reviews here I disagree that Argerich's recording is the "best" one. Argerich is so overly temperamentful that she rips the concerto to pieces, and for me, she is over-hungry. She devours it like a hungry dog. Rachmaninov's concerto is not supposed to be played with a constant over-hungry passion waiting to jump into yet another fit of overheated nerves. In essence, we hear too much of Argerich's Latin temperament and too little of Rachmaninov's multi-facetted Slavic emotions. Ms Argerich seems simply incapable of becoming more waterishly melancholic without showcasing this burning fire ripping everything apart. But in the Rach 3 many such Slavic moments are due.
So, if you are into singularly hot romanticism and a very hot temperament you'll love this version above all other renditions, if you want a wider palet of emotions, I suggest you turn your ear to versions by for instance Earl Wild or Byron Janis, equally legendary performances. Or try Shelley on Hyperion if you want transparent and clear playing. Ashkenazy is...Ashkenazy, seems a bit dull, but his romantic feelings are beautiful to listen to once in a while. I specifically love his cadenza in the first movement.
Of course one cannot say that Argerich's version is 'bad' or 'mediocre'. It is quite good, but....typically Argerich. In fact, she plays not Rachmaninov, but Argerich.

As to Tsjaikowsky, same here. One is listening not to Tsjaikowsky, but to Argerich, which is nice, but again, in her white-hot temperament Ms Argerich is not multi-colored enough. She gets emotionally overheated instead of remaining balancedly passionate.

You understood, reader, that while I like Argerich I do not own 20 of her records...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too fast, too furious, 13 July 2010
This review is from: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 / Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 (Audio CD)
Maybe this version of Rachmaninov 3 is not the the fastest, but it sounds too fast. What kind of concerto is this? Of course, it requires a great deal of virtuosity, and Argerich's virtuosity is not in question, although there are plenty of wrong notes in the big cadenza. But the concerto is not all about virtuosity. There is also a different quality in this piece - a longing, a painful nostalgia, a sense of being close to something that is about to break. This is immediately heard in the opening bars and seems to underline much of the music all the way to the coda of the third movement. None of this can be heard here, but it can be heard in all the great performances of this concerto. Horowitz, Askenazy and Volodos are my favourites, but without forgetting the composer's own magnificent rendering.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews