On Sunday, she sent word she was not coming. On Monday, she was. On Tuesday, when I reached Warsaw for the Chopin and His Europe Festival, her manager was in the hotel lobby trying to confirm that she had boarded the plane. No guarantee she would play, but it was a step in the right direction.
She had replaced Prokofiev 3, substituting a Mozart concerto. Then she asked to play first half of the concert, not second. At rehearsal she was heard to say she had not touched a piano since June 26. Not that anyone could tell.
She came on tonight after the Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra and gave a Mozartian performance no pianist could match for clarity and brio, every note audibly differentiated in runs so fast they left no records standing. Few dared to breathe in Philharmonic Hall from start to finish. She was off her stool a full second before the orchestra sounded the concluding chord.
There is only one Martha Argerich.
UPDATE: I should have mentioned the final change: she played Beethoven’s first piano concerto, his most Mozartian.