. . . Nelson Freire's celebration of piano music from his native country is pure delight . . . Freire characterises and colours each one inimitably, never searching for emotional depths that aren't there, nor attempting to confer profundity on music that is mostly intended simply to be enjoyed . . . There's more than enough here for you to hope that Freire might put together a second volume, perhaps including a few more substantial works; in the meantime, if there is a more perfectly played piano disc released this year, we will be very lucky indeed.
. . . poetic and exceptional in every way . . .
There are few works in his repertoire that [Freire] does not play better than any living pianist . . . an artist at the top of his game playing . . . From the opening bars of "O ginete do Pierrozinho", you know you're in safe hands as Freire presents a masterclass in nonchalant playfulness, capturing to perfection the charm of a composer . . . Freire is a class act and "Brasileiro", immaculately recorded by the way, is sheer delight from start to finish.
This affectionate tribute to the (mostly 20th-century) piano music of his homeland is an absolute delight . . . deeply affecting interpretations of "Alma Brasileira" and "A lenda do caboclo" . . . marvellous accounts . . . a tremendous master of the keyboard . . . It's easy to make this sort of repertoire, at root mainly songs and dances, splashily virtuosic or comfortably sentimental, but to treat it with Freire's kind of artistry raises it to an entirely different level. There's plenty of flair and soul, yet the playing is always crystalline and precise, perfectly pedalled, the colours as subtle as a Debussy prelude, the sentiment and nostalgia projected with rare refinement and delicacy, as in the second of Fernandez's "Tres estudos em forma de sonatina". And to turn a bubble as insubstantial as Mignone's "Valse elegante" into something as intensely poetic as a Chopin waltz, as Freire does here, is a special achievement. Just drop-dead gorgeous repertoire and performances: I don't think I've enjoyed any piano recording more this year.
Nelson Freire's ravishing tour around the early 20th-century piano music of his native Brazil inevitably centres on Villa-Lobos. But it also unearths a range of much less familiar miniatures, which Freire characterises and colours immaculately, never searching for emotional depths that aren't there, nor attempting to find profundity in music that is mostly intended just for enjoyment.
Wer könnte das authentischer als Nelson Freire -- eine ganze CD mit brasilianischer Klaviermusik füllen? Der großartige brasilianische Pianist nimmt den Hörer auf eine höchst aspektreiche, klanglich ungemein vielfältige Entdeckungsreise durch den Klavier-Kosmos Brasiliens mit. "Saudade" auf weißen und schwarzen Tasten sozusagen -- unwiderstehliche Musik, die Fernweh auslöst.