CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 (NDR Orch/Heinz Wallberg, cond. March 1, 1960). SCHUMANN: Concert Introducion and Allegro in D minor, Op. 134 (Bavaian Radio Orch/Reinhard Peters, cond. Sepember 20, 1971). TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto NO. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 (French National Orch/Kurt Masur, cond. February 18, 1969). PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat, Op. 10 (Bavarian Rdio Orch/ Yuri Ahronovitch, cond.October 2, 1974). LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A (Bavarian Radio Orch/Eleazar de Carvahlo, cond. December 6, 1979). RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (Rotterdam Philharmonic Orch/David Zinman, cond. November 24, 1979). Nelson Freire, pianist
DECCA 478 6772 (2 disks) TT: 82:49 & 78:13
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LISZT: Duo Sonata (sur des thèmes polonais) Epitha lam zu Eduard Reményi's Vermälungsfeier. Die drei Ziegeuner. Elegie No. 1. Elegie No. 2. Valse Impromptu. Grand duo concertante sur la Romance de M. Lafon "Le Marin."
Voytek Proniewicz, violin. Wojcieeh Waleczek, piano.
NAXOS 8.573145 TT: 70:01
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BERLIO\Z; Fantastic Symphony, Op. 14 (arr. Rechsteiner)
Yves Rechstener, organ
GALLO CD 1416 TT: 54:47
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Brazilian pianist Nelson Friere is an amazing musician. Throughout his career he has shunned publicity and promotion building a huge international audience. Fortunately recently he has become more active in the recording studio; his recent disk of the Brahms piano concertos with Riccardo Chailly and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra was praised on this site (REVIEW). Now Decca has issued this terrific 2-CD set of live performances recorded 1968-1979 and they are magnificent in every way—remarkable displays combining virtuosity and musicianship. The Chopin was the frst time Friere had played the work, as sensitive a performance as you will ever hear. The Tchaikovsky is stunning, the Rachmannoff Third is olympian in scope. For this 1970 recoding, Friere opts for the lighter first movement cadenza, as did most pianists at the time. And this is unquestionably one of the most exciting performances available, with a tempestuous finale always under control. Audio on all of these broadcasts is excellent and well-balanced. Decca has managed to get almost 83 minutes onto the first disk! This new release is essential in any piano collection. Let us hope more treasures like these will be found in radio archFor a recent example of Friere's exquisite playing, check out the DVD from the BBC Proms 2010 playing Chopin's Concerto No. 2 with Lionel Brnguier conducting (REVIEW). ives.

Franz Liszt wrote relatively little chamber music, and much of it can be experienced on this interesting Naxos disk of music for violin and piano. The major work is the Duo Sonata, a four movement work based o Polish theme. Grand Duo Concerante was composed in 1835, a set of variations on a tune by famous violinist Charles Philippe Lafont ending with a lively tarantelle Gypsy influences are often incorporated, perhaps the most interesting part of all of this music. None of this music represents Liszt at his best, but it is good to have it available for listeners to decide for themselves. Performances are expert, and have been well recorded.

This site just mentioned a SACD release of the Fantastic Symphony played by organist Hans Jorg Albrecht (REVIEW). Now we have another organ version of Berlioz's masterpiece, this one arranged and played by Yves Rechstener on the huge Puget Organ of La Dalbade in Toulouse. Just as Jorg Albrecht in his CD notes tried to justify performing this music on the organ, Rechstener does the same—both must truly believe it is appropriate to play this music on the organ, but I find it cumbersome and ineffective. Both recordings are effective sonically, but the SACD issue has more impact and has the advantage of more music (March from The Damnation of Faust).

R.E.B. (January 2015)