Album: Martha Argerich, Argerich Plays Chopin (Deutsche Grammophon)

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The Independent Culture

So rarely does Martha Argerich perform solo that hearing these previously unreleased recordings of various Chopin pieces is akin to getting a glimpse of an unseen Old Master.

Most date from 1967, two years after her triumph at the International Chopin Piano Competition, and are imbued with a youthful energy, particularly the dazzling, industrious Etude in C sharp minor which seems to encompass entire worlds within two minutes. Elsewhere, the rubato complexity of her rhythmic treatment of the Mazurkas in C sharp minor and D major brings to mind a classical equivalent of Thelonious Monk, while the Ballade No 1 in G minor from 1959 offers a bravura display of technique in the service of emotion.

Download this Ballade No 1 in G minor; Mazurka in C sharp minor; Etude in C sharp minor