PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 1 in D "Classical." Piano Concerto No. 1 in D
flat, Op. 10. SCHUMANN: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105. BEETHOVEN:
Concerto in C, Op. 56 "Triple Concerto."
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 36. PAGANINI: Violin Concerto
No. 2 in B minor, Op. 7 "La Campanella." BRAHMS: Sonata No. 3 in D minor,
Op. 108. BARTÓK: Sonata for Solo Violin, III Melodia. ELGAR: La
Op. 17. WIENIAWSKI: Polonaise Brillante in D, Op. 4. Capriccio-Valse in E, Op. 7. SAINT-SAËNS: Introduction
and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28.
MOSZKOWSKI/SARASATE: Guitarre, Op. 45 No. 2. ALBENIZ/KREISLER: Malaguena,
JULIA VARADY "Song of Passion" - A film by Bruno Monsaingeon. WAGNER:
Wesendonck Lieder. TCHAIKOVSKY: Kaby znala ia. SCHUBERT: rehearsal of
Death and the Maiden
What a pleasure it is to watch Martha Argerich in performance! Here
she is seen in a concert from the La Roque d'Anthéron Piano Festival,
Parc du Chateau de Florans, in July 2005. The Flanders Symphony Orchestra
is directed by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, a conductor Argerich
has recorded with for EMI (concertos of Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven),
and for other labels as well. Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, about 60 at the time
of this concert, is wild-eyed and dynamic on the podium, also
a composer (I haven't heard any of his music).
He elicits fine playing from
the Flanders orchestra and doubtless we will hear more from him. Also
featured on this concert are the Capuçon brothers, violinist Renaud and
cellist Gautier, the former featured in Schumann's first sonata for violin
and piano, both in Beethoven's concerto. But the star here is
Argerich who tosses off Prokofiev's first concerto with ease and obvious
pleasure. Audio and visual work are well done under the direction of
Bruno Monsaingeon's Song of Passion devoted to Hungarian-born soprano Julia Varady was filmed over two years around 1998 when she retired. Monsaingeon attempts to retrace the most important stages of Varady's career and the range of her musical activities using a few live performance excerpts for illustration. He ambitiously states Varady "embodies in one person the unlikely fusion of the art of the two most famous prima donnas of the second half of the twentieth century, Maria Callas and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf." True she was a fine singer, with a large repertory, but Varady lacked the charisma and vocal excitement of the grand divas. Monsaingeon's conversations with her cover her varied roles, childhood, meeting Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (whom she married in 1977), her problems with directors, and a brief rehearsal with pianist Viktoria Postnikova, who also accompanies the performance of Wesendonck Lieder seen here recorded in Paris in 1998. A "bonus" is a 9-minute rehearsal of Schubert's Death and the Maiden with Fischer-Dieskau at the piano, filmed in Berlin in 1996. If you're a fan of Varady, this is for you.
R.E.B. (May 2007)