Nareh Arghamanyan, Piano

On this night I went with friends to see Nareh Arghamanyan play the piano at Meany Hall. I had mixed feelings about this pianist. There was a lot of posing and acting going on, and a dress change at intermission, and a queenly posture like she was riding a chariot and/or casting commands from on high. I prefer honest music making. There was some of that in her playing, despite herself, but at other times her efforts to be dramatic pulled the music apart at the seams, and the super-difficult fast music risked being slapdash. She did great things with the Medtner, however, and her own arrangement of an Armenian folk tune (played as an encore) was incredible, a really good piece. She's quite a musician, to be sure. I hope she drops the act and focuses on the music.

The program:

  • Scriabin: Sonata No. 3
  • Glinka: Nocturne in F Minor, “La Separation”
  • Tchaikovsky: "Autumn Song" from The Seasons
  • Balakirev: Islamey, Op. 18
  • Medtner: Sonata Reminiscenza in A Minor (From “Forgotten Memories,” Op. 38)
  • Rachmaninov: Piano Transcriptions of selected Lieder
  • Stravinsky / arr. Agosti: Three Pictures from The Firebird Suite

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