Posted 08 December 2017
News from the world of the piano
Argerich and Babayan in Cleveland
Posted 08 December 2017
Argerich and Babayan in Cleveland
News from the world of the piano
The debut of Martha Argerich on the stage of Severance Hall, Cleveland, was announced in the last issue of Pianist. She gave a recital on 30 October with one of her most frequent duo partners, the Russian pianist Sergei Babayan, and happily the distinguished US journalist and long-time reporter on the Cleveland musical scene Donald Rosenberg was on hand to report on the occasion exclusively for Pianist.

He writes: This was not an occasion to bask only in Argerich’s supreme artistry. With Steinway pianos placed side by side, she sat at the instrument upstage for the programme’s first two works. Any notions that Argerich would play second fiddle, so to speak, to Babayan were dispelled when they immersed themselves with fierce resolve into his two-piano transcription of 12 movements from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet.

Some of their tempos were so quick that dancers would have been forced to cross eyes, not to mention limbs. But the visceral impact of hearing two keyboard wizards in urgent action, notably in the whirlwind episode in ‘The Death of Tybalt’ that usually challenges a string section, prompted the audience to respond with gasps of delight.

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