This morning I was lost for a subject to write about. But I finally found one! The way I chose today’s topic was different. Normally before I start writing, I put on some type of instrumental music for writing. I was thinking “okay, once I have the music maybe it can give me some idea”. So today I searched “Martha Argerich Chopin” and I was like, what the heck. Let’s write about my favorite pianist ever!!
Martha Argerich, from Argentina was a piano prodigy, and studied under Glenn Gould. Now at the age of 70-something, she continues to hash out energetic performances in Europe and Japan. She is main person who has influenced me to be a better piano player since I heared her performance of Chopin’s Polonaise Heroic. Her recording of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No.1 has stuck with me for years. Last year she got a Kennedy Center Honor for being a badass pianist. And now she is one of the judges for the Chopin International Piano Competition.
To summarize her style, her playing is fiery, fluid, dynamic, fearless, and colorful. I’ve attached a video of her Polonaise Heroic performance that won her the International Chopin competition in 1967.
I think Martha paved the way for female concert pianists, because she started in the 60s and I don’t think there were many famous female concert pianists in that era.
Her youngest daughter did a documentary about her life, and it shows how exhausting and mentally draining it is to be a concert pianist. It’s not a glamourous job because you travel from country to country, tired, straight to rehearsal and play at a concert the next day. She always had stage fright before performances, and would make up excuses to not go on stage. She has a reputation for cancelling concerts last minute. In the piano world Martha is kind of a diva, but because of her mastery over the piano, she can be a diva. Nevertheless, I would love to go to one of her concerts one day. Sadly they are all in Europe and she doesn’t come to the US.
I’ve listed a few of Martha’s impeccable performances here:
I think it’s important to have a musical influence to look up to and to aim to be as good as. I know I’ll never be an amazing of a musician as Martha, but still her music has brought me bliss, enjoyment, and so much emotion. Even listening to great musicians makes you a better musician. Listening to the greats improves your playing more than you are aware. Once I started listening to more of her music, and other great pianists, I became more sensitive to sounds. I developed more of a classical music taste. The ability to listen is key, no pun intended. And why not listen to the best!