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Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky: The Complete Duo Recordings Box Set

"Although Argerich has participated in numerous musical partnerships, not to mention her longtime mentoring of young artists, her associations with violinist Gidon Kremer and cellist Mischa Maisky are surely among the pianist's most substantial and musically rewarding collaborations. The present collection includes all of the Argerich/Kremer and Argerich/Maisky duo recordings for Deutsche Grammophon as originally released and in chronological order, allowing listeners the opportunity to trace each duo's evolution in terms of artistic rapport, sensitivity, risk-taking and the fine tuning of nuance.

Any discussion of Beethoven's violin sonatas (CDs 1, 4, 9 & 10) must address the fact that the composer did not designate these works as being ""for violin and piano"". For example, the first published edition of the ""Spring"" Sonata op. 24 from October 1801 reads ""Sonate pour le Piano Forte,"" in large letters, followed in smaller print by ""avec un Violon."" Similarly, the title-page of the first edition of the ""Kreutzer"" Sonata op. 47 from April 1805 reads ""Sonata per il Piano-forte ed un Violino obligato."" None of this should be taken to mean that the violin writing plays ""second fiddle"" to the piano part, so to speak, but rather that both instruments carry equal weight within the musical discourse.

Argerich and Kremer understood this from the start of their recorded Beethoven encounters, originally intended as part of a series encompassing all the violin sonatas, the music for cello and piano with Maisky, plus the five piano concerti with Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Philharmonia Orchestra (in the end, Argerich and Sinopoli recorded only the First and Second Concertos). Initially Argerich expressed apprehension about recording Beethoven, lest her readings might sound self-conscious under the microphone's objective, unforgiving scrutiny. Yet, during an interview conducted prior to the cycle's final sessions, both Argerich and Kremer spoke of using the recording