Chopin: The Nocturnes | CD review

Nelson Freire
(Decca, two CDs)

Though the multinational labels apparently remain intent on signing up more young pianists who might sell discs as much on their looks as on their talent, it is good to see that the recording career of Nelson Freire is still going strong. Now in his mid 60s, Freire's recordings for Decca over the last decade – of Brahms, Schumann, Beethoven, Debussy and Chopin – have been wonderfully consistent, and this set of the Nocturnes, his third all-Chopin disc, maintains the same high standard. Freire is a businesslike, unfussy Chopin player, whose tone is bright and crystalline rather than plush and overingratiating, and his treatment of these miniatures is never sentimental. He respects the poise and elegance of the melodic lines, floating them exquisitely while teasing out the harmonies beneath with fastidious care; this is Chopin playing of high quality, from one of the finest pianists alive today.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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