If you’re looking for a gift for that connoisseur of piano, here’s an option – all of the recordings by Martha Argerich on Deutsche Gramophon. 48 CDs!
Martha Argerich: “The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon” Few instrumentalists have made music sound as vital, as thrillingly alive, as Martha Argerich. The mercurial Argentine-born pianist, a frustratingly sporadic presence on the concert circuit, is capable of feats of dazzling lightness and energy, transforming a well-known score into something simultaneously reckless and precise. This box set — 48 CDs in a compact red cube — traces her recording career on her principal label, from its beginnings in the 1960s to works recorded at the Lugano Festival, where she has held an annual “Martha Argerich Project” since the beginning of the century. Among countless delights are impetuous early recordings of Chopin and Liszt; classic, standard-setting concertos with the conductor Claudio Abbado; chamber-music collaborations with violinist Gidon Kremer and cellist Mischa Maisky on a similarly high level; and readings of solo piano works by Bach, Schumann, and Bartok that all partake of a nervous, dancing intensity. Some of the greatest delights arrive through unusual repertoire choices: Haydn’s D-major piano concerto has never seemed so buoyant and playful, and the version of Saint-Saens’s “Carnival of the Animals” by Argerich and her friends is improbably playful and smile-inducing. Closing out the set is a collection of recently unearthed Chopin recordings, the earliest of which is a G-minor Ballade from 1959, the 18-year-old pianist already sounding like, well, herself.