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Monday, September 26, 2022

Martha Argerich as a soloist and Story of a soldier, in a wonderful night

Martha Argerich opened the second concert of her festival, at the Teatro Colón as the venue, with Partita No. 2 in C minor by Bach. It is the only concert of the entire Festival that is presented as a soloistand it is no coincidence that she does so with a special work for her, always present in the repertoire at decisive moments in her life.

“When I start playing it I always feel very comfortable. I love her, she calms me down. It is as if she were improvising”, Argerich told Georges Gachot in the unforgettable documentary interview Evening Talks.

And this is how it was heard: very comfortable and, at times, as if improvising. The music shone in each and every moment of his wonderful playing. She just came on stage, sat down and promptly played the opening chords of the Symphony, and from there to the final Capriccio, it was an uninterrupted trance.

In the alternation of fast and slow movements, his interpretation modulated between the bravery and the maximum delicacy of the intensity of his sound.

Unrivaled.  Martha Argerich, in what was her only solo concert at the Argerich Festival.  Photo Arnaldo Colombaroli/Colón Theater

Unrivaled. Martha Argerich, in what was her only solo concert at the Argerich Festival. Photo Arnaldo Colombaroli/Colón Theater

Martha Argerich offered an unusually wide dynamic range for Bach, but as the critic Federico Monjeau once wrote, Argerich’s Bach is for the listener a miracle of the modern piano.

Despite the thunderous applause that called for an encore, in the fourth appearance on stage, the pianist put her hands on the keyboard and, while still standing, threw a tantrum of notes on the pianolooked with a charming smile at the audience, and left.

The devil and the soldier

The program continued with story of a soldier by Igor Stravinsky, a chamber work written for narrator, dancer, actors and seven instrumentalists. Written in 1918, it is halfway between the ballet of the chamber opera, the popular theater and the fable. The modesty of the project is related to the post-war contextwas intended as a traveling show.

Peter Lanzani and Joaquín Furriel shone in Historia de un Soldado, at the Festvial Argerich.  Fito Máximo Parpagnoli/Colón Theater

Peter Lanzani and Joaquín Furriel shone in Historia de un Soldado, at the Festvial Argerich. Fito Máximo Parpagnoli/Colón Theater

Returning to the legend of Faust, the plot is based on a popular Russian tale that tells the story of a soldier who sells his violin to the devil and teaches him to play it in exchange for a book with the power to predict the future. The text written in verse by Ramuz had a good local translation by Gabriela Massuh.

the setting of Ruben Szchumacher includes a narrator and three actors, who perform some sequences, and also dance, with the excellent choreographic direction of Marina Svartzman.

In the space coexists the septet, on the one hand, and the scene on the other. There are moments of simultaneity and others in which there is only music.

The text, direct, advances without detours. Annie Dutoit-Argerich took on the role of narrator and gave the text the necessary weight and nuance. Dutoit-Argerich gracefully unfolded to open the way for the devil and the soldierplayed by Joaquín Furriel and Peter Lanzani respectively.

Cumelén Sanz and Peter Lanzani, in the Story of a Soldier, at the Frestival Argerich.  Photo: Máximo Parpagnoli/Colón Theater

Cumelén Sanz and Peter Lanzani, in the Story of a Soldier, at the Frestival Argerich. Photo: Máximo Parpagnoli/Colón Theater

A minimalist set design (a platform with a white background on which an excellent lighting design by Gonzalo Córdova was projected) supports the performance, in which Lanzani and Furriel shined.

Furriel’s characterization found the necessary Mephistophelian presence, funny and cruel, and produced some funny moments of acting mischief towards the end. With in the brief and famous CoupletFurriel knew how to adjust the rhythm of his speech to match the orchestra and allowed the word to drift gracefully over the rise and fall of the instrumental parts.

Lanzani’s performance was no less exceptional.wove something magical throughout history with his stage presence, plasticity and bodily flexibility, to which he added Cumelen Sanzwhich brought all the grace to Svartzman’s beautiful choreographies in the three dances (Tango, Waltz Y Ragtime).

Charles Dutoit, directing

Martha Argerich and all her magic, on the second date of her festival at the Colón.  Photo: Arnaldo Colombaroli/Colón Theater

Martha Argerich and all her magic, on the second date of her festival at the Colón. Photo: Arnaldo Colombaroli/Colón Theater

The great score marked by the influence of jazz and catchy rhythms was directed by Charles Dutoit.

The instrumental septet (Elías Gurevich on violin, Elián Cárdenas on double bass, Federico Landaburu on clarinet, Gabriel La Rocca on bassoon, Fernando Ciancio on trumpet, Matías Bisulca on trombone and Christian Frette on percussion) was heard without the presence, nor the weight and necessary contrast.

The balance between the amplification of the voices and the sonority of the septet slightly upset the spirit of the piece, generating two very marked shots and the music was somewhat contained with respect to the stage. As it is in the story, the violin is the soul of the work, yet the solo violin only occasionally managed to become an outstanding narrative device.

File

story of a soldier

Qualification: very good

Of: Igor Stravinsky Translation: Gabriela Massuh, based on the original by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz musical direction: Charles Dutoit musicians: Federico Landaburu, clarinet; Gabriel La Rocca, bassoon; Fernando Ciancio, trumpet; Matías Bisulca, trombone; Christian Frette, percussion; Elías Gurevich, violin, and Elián Cárdenas, double bass stage direction: Ruben Szuchmacher interpreters: Annie Dutoit-Argerich, Cumelén Sanz, Peter Lanzani, Joaquín Furriel I choreographedTo: Marina Svartzman Lightning: Gonzalo Cordova Theater: Columbus, Saturday August 13.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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