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Nelson Freire in Concert Import

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Audio CD, Import, May 9, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

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Nelson Freire is among the most inexplicably neglected of our great pianists and anything he records is of interest to the connoisseur. That's especially the case with this release--culled from transcripts of broadcasts on French National Radio between 1971 and 1994--because most of it is new to the pianist's discography. Chopin's Andante Spianato and Polonaise receives a tremendous performance. In the Andante Spianato, Freire's tempo is faster than usual and the melodic line sings in an almost disembodied manner. The tempo for the Polonaise, on the other hand, is somewhat slower than usual. Freire takes "polonaise" literally as a dance form. With incomparable elegance and infinite shades of tonal nuance, he brings out details usually buried beneath the bluster of business-as-usual virtuoso readings. Schumann's Papillons and Études symphoniques are equally distinguished. The delicacy of his finger work, the subtlety of his rhythm, and the imagination he lavishes on details are the work of a great pianist at the top of his form. --Stephen Wigler

1. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Thema
2. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 1 / Etude 1
3. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 2 / Etude 2
4. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Etude 3
5. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 3 / Etude 4
6. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 4 / Etude 5
7. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 5 / Etude 6
8. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 6 / Etude 7
9. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 7 / Etude 8
10. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Etude 9
11. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 8 / Etude 10
12. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Variation 9 / Etude 11
13. Symphonic Etudes ('Etudes in the form of variations') for piano (2 versions), Op. 13: Finale
14. Papillons (Butterflies) for piano, Op. 2
15. Impromptu for piano in F sharp major, Op. 36, CT. 44
16. Scherzo for piano No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31, CT. 198
17. Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise for piano & orchestra, Op. 22: Andante spianato, Op. 22
18. Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise for piano & orchestra, Op. 22: Grand[e] polonaise, Op. 22
19. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I), chorale prelude for organ (Orgel-Büchlein No. 41), BWV 639 (BC K68)
20. Prelude, transcription for piano in G minor (after J. S. Bach, BWV 535)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi USA
  • ASIN: B00004T6XP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TAM TING KWOK on March 6, 2001
On this disc, the technical ability of Nelson Freire is clearly demonstrated as can be seen in the Symphonic Etudes by Schumann. His rendering of Chopin's Impromptu is marvelous especially in the thunderous octaves in the middle section. In the Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise by Chopin, I find a moving spianato and a heroic polonaise. On the whole, his running passages are mostly clean and crystal clear. Therefore, this recording is a must to all piano music lovers and is also a recommendable recording to all piano students and to all amateurs.
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