Nelson Freire, piano – Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Charles Dutoit, cond. February 5, 2015 – RSR-Geneva
Over to Geneva this week for a historic concert by the brilliant and much lamented Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire, accompanied by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande led by Charles Dutoit. The concert was recorded in Victoria Hall, Geneva by RSR on February 5, 2015.
The concert begins with Ibéria from Images by Debussy. Followed by the second piano concerto by Chopin, with Nelson Freire. As an encore he plays the Mazurka in B Minor. The orchestra resumes with a performance of Song Of The Nightingale by Stravinsky and concludes with Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe Suite Number 2.
By unanimous opinion, Nelson Freire has been considered one of the greatest pianists of his generation. He was noted for his “decorous piano playing” and “interpretive depth”. His extensive discography for labels such as Sony Classical, Teldec, Philips, and Decca has garnered awards including the Gramophone Award and Diapason d’Or. Freire appeared as soloist with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He played and recorded piano duo music with Martha Argerich, a long-time musical and personal friend.
In general, Freire tended to avoid the limelight, publicity, and interviews. However, in 2011, he withdrew from a scheduled engagement with the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB) and conductor Roberto Minczuk, in support of the orchestra musicians, following the dismissal of about three dozen OSB musicians by Minczuk. Freire appeared as soloist with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de France, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Freire died from a fall at his home in Rio de Janeiro on 1 November 2021, two weeks after his 77th birthday.
And the notes speak for themselves – enjoy the concert.
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