MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Waldesrauschen, S145/1 (1863) [4.00]
Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, S161/5 (1846) [5.56]
Valse oubliée in F sharp major, S215/1 (1881) [2.44]
Ballade No, 2 in B minor, S171 (1854) [13.43]
Au lac de Wallenstadt, S160/2 (1855) [2.44]
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3, S244/3 (1854) [4.24]
Six Consolations, S172 (1850) [16.02]
Harmonies du soir, S139/11 (1851) [8.36]
Nelson Freire (piano)
rec. Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, 26-31 January 2011
DECCA 478 2728 [56.09]

Experience Classicsonline

This is a wonderful piano recital. Freire’s tone is exquisite throughout and at the same time he produces a dazzling virtuoso display, negotiating Liszt’s cascading octaves, leaps, runs and difficult passage work with gusto. He selects a range of pieces from throughout Liszt’s career, including a selection from ‘Années de Pelerinage’, to the late ‘Valse oubliée’ with its dissonant chromatic harmonies.

Freire opens his recital with Waldesrauschen (or ‘Forest murmurs’) which was originally published as one of two concert studies with Gnomenreigen. Freire’s opening right hand figurations were of gossamer delicacy and lightness and the melody in the left hand finely shaped. The range of tone colours and textures evoked were quite breathtaking, and Freire shows his mettle by powering through Liszt’s virtuoso passage-work and cadenzas. Having demonstrated his virtuoso credentials, Freire then turned to the second Petrarch sonnet from Liszt’s ‘Années de Pelerinage’. This was a full-blooded performance with Freire bringing out the rich sonorities and yearning passions in the piece.

Freire again shows us a range of tone colours and textures in the first of Liszt’s four Valse oubliées. The opening was spiky and angular and the passage-work very dry and clear, but there was then a seamless transition into the amorous passions of the central sections. The second Ballade was the longest piece in this magnificent recital. Liszt’s Ballades are very different from those of Chopin and the second is a large-scale programmatic work with a rather loose structure which can make it difficult to bring off. Freire navigated his way through the technically demanding passage-work with aplomb, and injected drama and a sense of unifying cohesion throughout.

Can everyone reading this review please listen to Freire’s wonderful recording of ‘Au lac de Wallenstadt’. This short piece also forms part of ‘Années de Pelerinage’ and Marie d’Agoult (Liszt’s then mistress) describes it as being “imitative of the sigh of waves and the cadence of oars”. Freire captures beautifully the motion of a boat charting its way through quiet waters in the left hand figurations while evoking resonant Alpine sounds. The third Hungarian Rhapsody is one of Liszt’s shorter and lesser known pieces in the form. Freire’s control of rhythm and his delicacy in the fast or ‘friss’ sections were quite breathtaking.

Liszt’s six Consolations are technically much less demanding than most of his other piano works although the sixth is not without its difficulties. The third is the most famous and beautiful piece in the set and is reminiscent of Chopin’s Nocturne in D flat. Freire brings a ravishingly beautiful tone to the third while he captures and frames perfectly the quirky elusiveness of the sixth. Freire finishes his recital with Liszt’s penultimate transcendental study entitled ‘Harmonies du soir’ which also serves as the title for this disc. This is a study in tone colours, broken chords and harmonic progressions. Freire brings his full tonal palette to the work creating exquisite colours and textures. Altogether, this is an absolutely superlative recital.

Robert Beattie













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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
Web Ring
Translation Service

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

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.