In these digital days, it's exceedingly rare to hear an actual unretouched "live" recording.
In these digital days, it's exceedingly rare to hear an actual unretouched "live" recording. Collaborators for some 25 years—and each of a decidedly romantic, venturesome temperment—cellist Mischa Maisky and pianist Martha Argerich are by all evidence documented here live and unedited from a November 2000 recital in Kyoto, Japan. Certainly, the duo's performances come across with a keen, knife-edge intensity and spontaneity in a substantive program of the cello sonatas by Chopin and Debussy, along with an effective arrangement of Franck's popular Violin Sonata and an encore of Chopin's Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3. Fans of both Maisky and Argerich will have to own this disc, and for neophytes, this is an ideal introduction to high romantic chamber music—and high romantic chamber music-making—par excellence.—BB