Divina! Voici la reine! Just two of some of the accolades showered on Martha Argerich performing the Chopin Third Sonata for Piano to an empty hall in Hamburg. If you do nothing else this week, I ask that you PLEASE spend a blissful 26 minutes watching this video of Martha Argerich performing. She has been one of my "S-heroes" at the keyboard since I have been in college. Martha was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and made her debut concert in 1949 at age eight! She has a phenomenal technique and beautiful musical soul, in my opinion. I waited for many, many years to get to hear her perform in person; Kate got us tickets for a fabulous concert in Cleveland a couple of years ago, and I could barely believe I was hearing it! (Ask me about the unfortunate effort in Vienna....!) Bravo, and thank you, Martha
Do you remember watching any of the WQED specials on places and things in Pittsburgh done by Rick Sebak? It is the Pittsburgh History Series, and they are available now for free viewing here. Did you know that most of the city of Pittsburgh parks actually have their own special music piece? Give a listen to the music in several places in the Sebak special called "Something About Oakland" to hear me performing "The Schenley Park Waltz" among other pieces. I recorded many of the park themes with Kate Young and Jean Thomas for the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks society. Enjoy listening!
For all of my students who recently enjoyed learning about and listening to the myriad of women composers, I think you will enjoy reading this article by David Allen on Amy Beach, and a new recording of her Piano Quintet by the wonderful Garrick Ohlsson and the Takacs String Quartet. I believe I recommended listening to the "Gaelic" Symphony and her Piano Concerto, both favorites of mine, as we studied her music. I know that some of you tried a few of her piano solo pieces; many are rather difficult as she was a gifted pianist and performed many of her own works. Give a listen to her piano quintet and let me know what you think!