Programme Guide

Wherever Martha Argerich plays, she magically draws people in – with her captivating stage presence, spirit and unmistakable touch. This exceptional pianist, who has been acclaimed in international concert life for decades, now meets Daniel Barenboim, with whom she shares a lifelong artistic friendship, for the first time in a concert with the Philharmoniker. The two first met as “child prodigies” in Buenos Aires in 1949 (Barenboim: “She plays much better than I do”).

The programme for this special evening includes Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, a repertoire hit: the introduction, with its grandioso chords extending across the entire keyboard, is among the most famous bars in music history. In addition, Daniel Barenboim conducts Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra, which, with its bright tonal colours and folk-like vitality, is one of the popular masterpieces of the 20th century. As in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto, in which two Ukrainian folk songs echo alongside a French chansonette, folk music also plays a significant role in Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra: the composer took eight songs from a well-known collection of folk songs from Mazovia, the region around Warsaw, which he underlaid with sophisticated harmonies. The result is a virtuoso study of tonal effects and orchestral colours, which puts all instrumental groups with their distinctive possibilities alternately in the best light.

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