Martha Argerich (piano) (1965) EMI 556 8052
‘Argerich plays Chopin’ is the emphasis on a recording where the interpreter sometimes comes before the composer, but this brilliant disc deserves its legendary appellation.
Only 24 when she was captured playing at Abbey Road, shortly after winning the 1965 Warsaw Chopin competition and shortly before she signed to Deutsche Grammophon (hence it taking EMI almost 35 years to allow it to appear), Argerich performs with such white-hot intensity that it scarcely feels like a studio recording.
Her volcanic energy can leave you scrambling to keep up, but the Third Sonata is breathtaking in its spontaneity, and the Mazurkas are richly imbued with Polish spirit.
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