Originally Posted by metaphysician
I've never understood the praise heaped on Argerich; she makes Chopin sound like Rachmaninov and seems to rush everything. I recently compared her LSO disc of Chopin's first piano concerto (coupled with Liszt's first, a pre-Indian Summer Abbado conducting) and her performance of the Liszt doesn't compare to Richter's, who played like the music was written for him.
I know Argerich is a polarizing figure, and I'm also not classically trained so I know I'm a bit out of my element. I favor the impetuous, rushed quality, to a degree, and marvel at her pianism, which is very likely exercised at the expense of the composer's intentions for a piece. I find it exciting and sometimes more accessible, and a great antidote to the morning blahs.
The first classical recording I heard that I liked was the Russian Sailor's Dance, conducted by Ormandy, and the finale was faster and more vigorous than anything I had ever heard. It made me realize that classical music isn't just for old ladies in the parlor, but is a vibrant, living force. Argerich's best work gives me that same impression and for that reason I am a fan.