September 23, 2014
Argerich and Barenboim make year’s highlight at the Colón Theatre
The two most famous and beloved Argentine musicians of today — conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and pianist Martha Argerich — performed at the Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires last night, opening Barenboim’s Festival which extends until August 12.
The concert at the Colón last night was, in all likelihood, the highlight of this season, having reportedly sold out long in advance. Barenboim conducted his West-Eastern Divan, the so called “Peace Orchestra” he founded alongside Palestinian author-scholar Edward Said in 1999.
Argerich met Barenboim onstage to a loud round of applause which surpassed by far the usual welcoming reaction of the habitués of Teatro Colón. Although the two celebrated musicians have known each other since they were children, last night was their first performance together on the stage of Argentina’s main lyrical theatre.
Argerich played Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto Op. 15 in C major, followed by Ravel’s Spanish pieces — Spanish Rhapsody / Morning Song of the Jester / Pavane for a Dead Princess / Bolero — accompanied by the West-Eastern Divan orchestra under Barenboim’s baton.
Today, Barenboim will conduct his orchestra in Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, Prelude and Liebestod (concert version). This concert will be repeated on August 6, 10 and 12. Tomorrow, Argerich will join Barenboim onstage again for a piano duets repertoire, also at the Colón Theatre. A few days later, on August 9, musical-comic group Les Luthiers will join Barenboim and Argerich in a chamber concert. They will play Igor Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat and Camille Saint-Saëns’s Le carnaval des animaux.