The legendary Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire specializes in the 19th century and has turned to recording Bach in his eighth decade, apparently for the first time. All you can say is that it was worth the wait. His Bach is typically restrained, not unaware of the long tradition of Bach piano performances, but decidedly unlike anyone else's approach. In general, Freire is pianistic without applying a lot of pedal.
This intimate documentary by João Moreira Salles features one of the Brazil’s most prominent pianists. Nelson Freire was a child prodigy from Minas and was destined for fame later in life. The film covers his travels to France, Belgium, Russia and, of course, Brazil, as he performs in concert and recitals before admirers and fans. The music is absolutely extraordinary as Freire plays Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Bach, Gluck, Villa-Lobos and Rachmaninoff. Argentine Pianist Martha Argerich is also featured in this outstanding portrait of a extraordinarily talented contemporary artist.
In the third of three new landmark albums on the Decca label, Nelson Freire marks his 70th birthday year with a stunning recording of Chopin’s lyrical and brilliant Piano Concerto No. 2. The recording was made in Cologne with the Gurzenich-Orchester Koln and Lionel Bringuier, one of the most talked-about of the younger generation of conductors. The release also features some favorite Chopin solo works including a Ballade, Berceuse, Polonaise and three Mazurkas.
In celebration of the Liszt year 2011, multi-award winning pianist Nelson Freire has personally selected the repertoire for his latest recording - his contribution to the anniversary of the pianist-composer's birth in 1811. The very personal selection includes Liszt showpieces such as the Harmonies du soir (12 ètudes d'exécution transcendante), the Hungarian Rhapsodies and Liebestrëume.
In short, Freire's gorgeous, utterly inspired Liszt playing belongs in every piano lover's collection. -Jed Distler www.classicstoday.com
With his new CD appropriately titled "Harmonies du soir" Nelson Freire brings a magnificent homage to Franz Liszt's bicentenary. This is a tremendous disc. Highly recommended. - Marc Haegeman; www.classical.net