This humdinger of a set is a collation of items taken from the many concerts Martha Argerich and her pianist friends gave at the Lugano Festival between 2002 and 2005. It would be superfluous on my part to comment on the pieces that make up this programme, as all seven enjoy a healthy popularity. It is the mesmerizing pianism which however swept me off my feet.
Although the music was recorded separately over a period of four years, there still is a marvellous sense of continuity and everything seems to have gelled in one evening. Argerich is the real driving force behind the whole project, and her fiery energy not only injected the pieces with a momentum of breathless beauty but also inspired her colleagues to attain heights of almost unspeakable virtuosity.
Two and a half hours of riveting keyboard pyrotechnics that leaves one exhausted but still wanting for more. This is an absolute peach of an issue in gorgeous sound and respectable presentation that should be in every piano lover's collection.
Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech