A special concert: Martha Argerich plays the Piano Concerto in A Minor by Schumann at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the concert hall where Clara Schumann premiered this masterpiece for the piano only a hundred and sixty years ago.
Clara and her husband's work were triumphantly acclaimed, as was Martha on June 2, 2006. This concert was special for another reason: it was held on the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of Robert Schumann (1810-1856) that Richard Chailly, the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, decided to celebrate in due form. And what better way of commemorating it than to invite for the occasion the queen of pianists, Martha Argerich?
With the complicity of Riccardo Chailly, the Argentinean pianist gave the best of herself that evening, and that's saying something! Fiery, dazzling, the Concerto by Schumann whirls under her fingers sweeping us away as in a tornado. In the encore, she gives the audience and her favourite composer a most precious gift: she who for a long time no longer wished to play alone, performs Foreign Lands and People the first piece from Scenes from Childhood by Schumann.
A moment of infinite grace which reminds us of Robert's words to Clara about the Scenes from Childhood, "You will have to abandon yourself to their simple, natural, unadorned grace." Words that Martha Argerich has also heeded.
Picture: Martha Argerich © Adriano Heitmann/Immagina
Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich through the eyes of their daughter Stéphanie
Verbier Festival 2012