£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively Crotchet

 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonatas: No. 21 in C, Op. 53, Waldstein (1804) [22:26]; No. 26 in E flat, Op. 81a, Les Adieux (1809/10) [14:59]; No. 31 in A flat, Op. 110 (1821/22) [18:33]; No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27/2, Moonlight (1801) [13:04]
Nelson Freire (piano)
rec. Salle de Musique, Chaux-le-Fonds, 21-28 April 2006. DDD
DECCA 4758155 [69:25]

 

Experience Classicsonline


The Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire is one of the best-kept secrets of recent years. In a world where pianists come and go on the breeze, players of the calibre of Freire are as rare as hens’ teeth. His tone is a thing of purest beauty and it s expertly captured here by the Decca team of Christopher Pope and Dominic Fyfe. More, his playing has a gravitas – a knowingness – that informs every single note. His coupling of the Brahms Concertos with Chailly, Decca 475 7637, reveals this also.

Freire's strength stems from an inner core of steel, yet his fingers are capable of myriad variations of touch - not one, incidentally, inappropriate for Beethoven. Accents bite without stabbing and over it all lies Freire's intense awareness of large-scale harmonic movement. Nowhere is this better revealed than in the first sonata we hear, the Waldstein. Even the slow movement's meanderings never sound aimless, just místy before the clarity of the wafting beauty of the opening of the finale. Freire injects more drama than most into this finale, and ensures the coda is not just a headlong rush. Definition is always paramount, stemming from enviable finger-strength.

Freire brings huge pathos to the vitally important Adagio of the first movement of Les Adieux, particularly the valedictory descending three-note, horn-call like, figure. Freire makes light of the Allegro's technical difficulties; the only player I have hard to match him here is Arrau, live at the Royal Festival Hall in around 1985. The oscillating figure featured mainly in the inner voices of the first movement buzzes with life under Freire's intelligent fingers, while individual, unaccompanied strands make maximum impact. The desolation of the central Andante espressivo L'Absence' prefigures the loneliness of late Schubert slow movements, its lines singing with a true cantabile. The contrast with the finale is stark. This last movement has no problems including light-hearted play, juxtaposing that with various outbursts.

The interplay of transcendental calm and slow-burning intensity projected by Freire seems to penetrate straight to the heart of the first movement of Op. 110. The tension latent explodes onto the scene in the brief (two-minute) Allegro molto. There is no sense of technical strain whatsoever here -  how many pianists can claim that? The acres of space Freire finds in the Adagio ma non troppo makes one hanker for more late Beethoven from this pianist. The final fugue creeps in, imbued with a Zen-like concentration. This is fully in the same league as Pollini and Schnabel.

This Sonata Op. 27/2 must be up there in the top ten of the World's most recorded music, so it needs someone special to make it sound freshly-minted. Freire's tempo for the Adagio sostenuto is middle-of-the-road, but his legato and subtle phrase shadings make for a mesmeric experience. The finale, if not quite as exciting as Pollini has made it in live performance, is nevertheless made of virtuoso stuff and makes for an apt conclusion to a must-have disc.

Colin Clarke




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.