Chopin: Ballade No 1; Piano Sonata No 3; etc | CD review

Martha Argerich
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Though Martha Argerich's legions of admirers have reluctantly accepted that the chance of any more solo studio recordings from her is now small, more and more of her recent concerts seem to be appearing on disc. This Chopin collection, though, dates back to the beginnings of her career in Europe. The performances are taken from recently unearthed mono German radio tapes of recitals in 1959 and 1967 in Berlin and Cologne, and include several works that Argerich has otherwise never recorded. Most notable of them all is a performance of the First Ballade, from 1959, when Argerich was 18, full of youthful fire and astonishing technical brilliance, while an account of the C sharp minor Etude, Op 10 No 4 from 1967 is equally dazzling. Three of the eight mazurkas included are also additions to the Argerich discography, while the B minor sonata complements, though doesn't supersede, her famous studio recordings from 1965 and 1967.

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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