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Solo Piano - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 3F de Télérama - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Classical - Released August 25, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The title Brahms might seem an odd one for this collection of Brahms piano pieces, containing one piano sonata and an assortment of 12 short pieces, mostly from the end of the composer's life. Yet the program does cover a good deal of Brahms' keyboard thinking: piano compositions, except for variation sets, are sparse during his middle years. The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5, dates from 1853, when Brahms was 20: it is youthful music par excellence, with five movements and a shifting set of moods that pose interpretive challenges for the pianist. Freire has been playing the sonata since his teenage years, and he manages to make the music sound deliberate and inevitable despite its rather feverish intensity. With the exception of the final Waltz in A flat major, Op. 39, No. 15, Freire plays the rest of the music chronologically. The listener has the sense of being drawn into a vortex of complexity as each work seems to explore new structural possibilities. You could sample almost anywhere, but try the uniquely flexible tonal implications of the first of the four Klavierstücke, Op. 119, a work that shows clearly why the "conservative" Brahms was so beloved by the 12-tone composers to come. The only possible way you might not like Freire's deeply thought-out, precise performances of these is if you like your Brahms on the warmer side, but the dispassionate, investigative way Freire has it is probably the fastest way into these works that really take a lifetime to appreciate. A major Brahms release, with sympathetic engineering from Decca at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2000 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
This release, issued to mark the 75th birthday of the great pianist Nelson Freire in 2019, is hardly a typical album of encores. A good deal of it is devoted to a single composer, Edvard Grieg. Other composers are represented by multiple works, and there are substantial pieces like the Rachmaninov Prelude in B minor, Op. 32, No. 10, that would not fill the role of encore well. You might take the word "encore" in another way, though: to mean things reprised. Many of these pieces are ones Freire knows well, has played many times, and has explored at a truly breathtaking level of detail. The Grieg Lyric Pieces are not virtuoso works, and indeed are often played by amateurs, but you haven't heard them played like Freire plays them, with each one a little study in phrasing and register. You could sample almost anywhere here, but try the first of the Shostakovich Fantastic Dances, Op. 5, which has an entrancing subtlety from the very first notes. Freire, a famed virtuoso, mostly avoids showpieces here, but, as if to say he hasn't lost the ability, he does drop some in. The album is, then, an encore to Freire's remarkable career, which isn't over yet. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 ("Emperor"), was the first piece Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire played in public, at the age of 12. He returned to it in 2014, at the beginning of a new Beethoven cycle, and the results are quite attractive. His reading avoids the gigantism and formal flourish implicit in most performances of the "Emperor," but it's not an anti-heroic interpretation. Instead, Freire steps back slightly and allows greater articulation of the piano's sweeping phrases in the opening movement. Such an approach fits well with the finale, whose dance-like qualities are thus permitted to emerge, and it also allows Freire to display his considerable lyrical gifts along the way. The program seems an odd coupling: a concerto and a sonata, one of Beethoven's most public works joined to one of his most inward. But in Freire's reading the pairing works well. The Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, as transcendent as it is, can also be read as a virtuoso work of Beethoven's unique kind, where all the virtuoso passagework contains secrets of its own, and here it serves the function of ringing the curtain down with luminous peace after the mighty concerto. A worthy, slightly unorthodox pair of performances from an underappreciated veteran of the piano. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year
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Keyboard Concertos - Released August 11, 2017 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
These recordings reveal Nelson Freire in 1966, aged 22, making his German radio "début" (at RIAS in Berlin) with a somewhat unusual repertoire: Grieg's Lyric Pieces, which are somewhat removed from any notion of virtuosity, followed by a few moments of the most dramatic of Liszt's works - the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5, which the composer himself referred to as a "heroic elegy"; and the Fifth, which is known by the rather more sober name Preludio. Twenty years later, still in Berlin in 1986, the same Freire would perform Saint-Saëns's Second Concerto, accompanied by the Berlin Radio Symphonic Orchestra, since become known as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin directed by Ádám Fischer; this was a radio concert recorded in public and broadcast live, so no cheating was possible - not that Freire was known for such things, of course. These are fascinating archives which show that the Brazilian pianist in full command of his phenomenal powers at 22, and with a superb maturity which remains youthful and joyful for Saint-Saëns. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 19, 2014 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released January 5, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Just as the 2010 celebration of the bicentennial of Frédéric Chopin's birth inspired a large number of releases devoted to his piano music, 2011 marked the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth, and similarly yields a bumper crop of recordings. Nelson Freire's 2010 album of Chopin's Nocturnes was a highlight of that year, so Liszt: Harmonies du Soir is a similar tribute that significantly adds to the pianist's comparatively small number of digital recordings for Decca. This collection of pieces in lyrical, literary, or characteristic veins gives a somewhat broader portrait of Liszt than the Nocturnes offered of Chopin, and Freire's abilities and sensibilities are revealed to a greater extent in this varied program. The refinement and lyricism that permeated the Nocturnes and their performances are replaced with a more passionate and changeable music, for here the styles, techniques, and expressions are more volatile, and the composer's extroverted tendencies stand in contrast to Chopin's reserved emotions. Freire has chosen pieces that are generally reflective and gentle in mood, though the shimmering filigree in the writing frequently erupts in dazzling displays of virtuosity, which a showman like Liszt couldn't restrain for long and which give this program its vibrant colors and interest. Decca's sound is clear and enjoyable for its pleasant ambience. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
The great Nelson Freire waited until 2015, at the venerable age of 71 years young, to fully dedicate a record to Johann Sebastian Bach. Rather than attacking one genre, or one group, he prefers to offer up a cleverly conceived panorama of great original compositions, as well as transcriptions for piano based on his pieces for organ and vocal works. The transcripts are those of Alexander Siloti, Ferruccio Busoni or Myra Hess. As a bonus, we discover an example of a transcription of Bach himself - but from a colleague, Marcello in this case. Obviously, the transcription style of Bach vs. those of Siloti, Busoni and Hess differ radically, if only by the fact that the latter three were made for a modern piano, while Bach transcribed from Marcello's chamber orchestra to end up with a sole harpsichord. Nelson Freire, who plays the original pieces of Bach or quasi-romantic transcriptions, delivers a speech with full transparency here, allowing the listener to marvel in the polyphonic complexity of this timeless music. © SM/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 15, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hail the return of Nelson Freire! Of course, the great Brazilian pianist has never actually been gone. Since his debut in Vienna playing Brahms' F minor Sonata at the age of 15, Freire has performed over 50 concerts a year in musical capitals like Berlin, London, Petersburg, and New York. But as far as recordings go, Freire is nearly a complete unknown with barely a handful of recordings to his credit. Still, those handful were more than enough to earn him a well-deserved volume in Philips' Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century series. Finally, in the first years of the twenty first century, Decca signed Freire to a long-term contract and this disc is his third disc for that label. Appropriately, it is also the second disc devoted to Chopin, who, like Freire, is a true poet of the piano. In Freire's hand, every melody is phrased with its own rise and fall, every harmony is voiced with its own inner life, every rhythm is articulated with its own pulse, and everything fused together shares its own singular musical form, aesthetic shape, and emotional meaning. Also, like Chopin, Freire is an artist whose virtuoso technique is all but imperceptible because the effortless elegance of his performances often conceals the supreme virtuosity of his playing. In Freire's hands, the B flat minor Sonata is far more concentrated on the tragic drama of the music than on its massive chords, the Barcarolle is far more concerned with the graceful glide of the music than with its shimmering right hand, and, even the appallingly hard Études are far more into the poetry of the music than their transcendent difficulties. Anyone who loves great Chopin or great pianists owes it to him/herself to hear this recording. Decca's sound is cool, clear, and deep. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

This release, issued to mark the 75th birthday of the great pianist Nelson Freire in 2019, is hardly a typical album of encores. A good deal of it is devoted to a single composer, Edvard Grieg. Other composers are represented by multiple works, and there are substantial pieces like the Rachmaninov Prelude in B minor, Op. 32, No. 10, that would not fill the role of encore well. You might take the word "encore" in another way, though: to mean things reprised. Many of these pieces are ones Freire knows well, has played many times, and has explored at a truly breathtaking level of detail. The Grieg Lyric Pieces are not virtuoso works, and indeed are often played by amateurs, but you haven't heard them played like Freire plays them, with each one a little study in phrasing and register. You could sample almost anywhere here, but try the first of the Shostakovich Fantastic Dances, Op. 5, which has an entrancing subtlety from the very first notes. Freire, a famed virtuoso, mostly avoids showpieces here, but, as if to say he hasn't lost the ability, he does drop some in. The album is, then, an encore to Freire's remarkable career, which isn't over yet. © TiVo
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 23, 2009 | Berlin Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 17, 2013 | Berlin Classics