Great Moments in Music - Martha Argerich in Warsaw

Author: sounding images

0000: Martha Argerich's appearance at the 1965 Chopin Competition marks the beginning of an incomparable career. It comes down to the finale - a legend is born.

  • Martha Argerich in Warsaw 1965  | Copyright: © dpa picture alliance

    Martha Argerich in Warsaw 1965 © dpa picture alliance

  • Martha Argerich | Copyright: © Sebastian Hattop

    Martha Argerich © Sebastian Hattop

In 1965, Martha Argerich conquers the piano world when she wins first prize in the renowned international Chopin Competition in Warsaw. For much of the competition, her victory is far from certain. One of her closest competitors is Arthur Moreira Lima from Brazil, who is in the lead after three rounds. It all comes down to the finale. Martha Argerich plays Chopin’s First Piano Concerto, and a legend is born.

But Martha Argerich’s path to victory is anything but smooth sailing. For three long weeks, the finalists battle for the coveted title. One of her closest competitors is the Brazilian Arthur Moreira Lima. He prepares for the competition “as if I were taking part in the Olympics, like an athlete out to set a record.” The jury is impressed with his playing, and after the first round he is in top position.

Argerich wins the second and third rounds, but Arthur Moreira Lima is still in the lead. It all comes down to the finale. Martha Argerich plays Frédéric Chopin’s First Piano Concerto. And a legend is born.

After forty-five years, Martha Argerich returns to the place of her incredible victory. Once again, she will play Chopin’s Piano Concerto at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. “As brilliant, present and fresh as all those years ago at the competition. It remains as fascinating as ever,” comments the young pianist Sophie Pacini.

The film includes excerpts from the dramatic musical duel between Martha Argerich and Arthur Moreira Lima, and from Martha Argerich’s interpretation of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto in Warsaw forty-five years later.

Duration 43 minutes
Production year 2020
Co-Production Company ZDF/arte
Co-Producer Christopher Janssen
Director Holger Preuße, Philipp Quiring
Producer Claus Wischmann



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