Concerto for piano, violin and cello in C, Op.56 Schumann
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54
Martha Argerich (piano)
Renaud Capuçon (violin)
Mischa Maisky (cello)
Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
Recorded live at the Lugano Festival in May 2002 (Schumann) and May 2003
CD No: EMI 5577732 Duration: 65 minutes Reviewed: June 2004
Argerich and Friends
Reviewed by Colin Anderson
This is a fresh and vital account of Beethovens maligned Triple Concerto, a vigorous and expressive orchestral introduction paving an impressive path to the soloists entry, a lively and integrated team. Mischa Maisky is an eloquent advocate of the cello part (by design, the cellist has a leading role), his trills expressive, his plaintive tone a pleasure throughout; Renaud Capuçon is sweet-toned and agile; Martha Argerich is dazzling and accommodating. Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky leads an alert, sympathetic and detailed accompaniment, although in the finale the recorded balance favours the soloists rather too much.
In the outer movements the central Largo is raptly effective here the soloists variegation of colour and dynamics sustain what can seem note-spinning on Beethovens part, though the final Polonaise could be a touch more spacious. Argerich is one of the few pianists who takes seriously Beethovens marking on the final page to hold-down the sustaining pedal; a shame that an over-keen audience intrudes into the effect.
As for the Schumann, well, Argerich is typically rapier and propulsive (its not long since she recorded it with Harnoncourt for Teldec); if cobwebs have accreted themselves to this poetic and capricious work, Argerich doesnt so much blow them away as sandblast them! As a demonstration of Argerichs vivid artistry there is much to admire, an appealing ink still wet quality. Yet, while there is nothing roughshod about her manner, her refusal to linger or enter a reverie is rather limiting, and some of the fierier moments are rather aggressive, accents punched out. Such matter-of-fact display is, however, countered by more delicate utterances.
A refreshing account, then, with no lack of inhibition, faithfully accompanied with some telling blends of orchestral sonority. However, Leif Ove Andsnes has recently set down a masterly account of the Schumann for EMI, and that same label issued a remarkably subtle version with Barenboim and Celibidache that is at-one with Schumanns acute gradations. Occasional low-pitched electronic buzzes intercede the second movement and finale, 540-545 in the latter for example, though theres nothing to deter from catching a pair of red-hot performances.