A classical music website by Tim Mangan
The Sonata, K. 141.
classical music, music videos
Martha Argerich, Scarlatti
December 1, 2011
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Brilliance. I love comparing this version to the other one floating around from a more recent performance.
This video demonstrates the clear influence of Chico Marx on her repeat note technique.
I played this recording for my Music Appreciation students at LA Mission College during our segment on Style Galant keyboard music, alongside a performance of it on the harpsichord. Most preferred this version, although I don’t know whether that was due to playing it on the piano, or Argerich being the pianist. Some expressed annoyance at the protracted close-up facial shots in the video, and I had to agree. Yes, Martha is attractive, but I begin to feel a little embarrassed at having to stare at her face for half-minutes at a time. It seems so irrelevant and rather perverted to be exposed to the various movements of her lips and mouth. If we manage to keep watching, we’re at least rewarded with an educational peek into her technique, where it is clear how she is plays with the small, intrinsic muscles of the hand, the lumbricals and interosserei, not merely the flexors and extensors, as indicated by her extended proximal interphalangeal joint (or flattened mid-joint, in plain English), particularly in the left hand. The greats all played with that flattening at the mid-joint, even while so much piano pedagogy stresses keeping the fingers rounded at all times.
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