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Salzburg / Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire

Release Date: 12/08/2009 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001363602   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsFranz SchubertMaurice RavelSergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Martha ArgerichNelson Freire
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Save for the Schubert Rondo all of the works featured on this August 3, 2009 Salzburg duo recital already figure in Martha Argerich's "official" discography, including studio and live versions of La Valse from 1982 with Nelson Freire, plus two previous recordings of the Haydn Variations and Symphonic Dances. Not that any of that matters, because this gorgeously engineered release reveals Argerich and Freire on staggering pianistic, musical, and ensemble form, from the impeccable chord balances in the Haydn Variations theme to La Valse's furious yet breathtakingly controlled climaxes. The two pianists shade Brahms' subtle cross-rhythmic effects in the Fifth and Eighth variations with
Read more effortless aplomb, while their vivid, perpetually supple Rachmaninov embraces such a wide spectrum of dynamics and colors that you hardly miss the composer's large orchestra.

These words equally apply to La Valse, which far surpasses the pianists' earlier attempts in both tonal allure and unrelenting diablerie. The duo's fleet, assiduously paced, organically singing A major Rondo bodes well for future Argerich/Freire Schubertian explorations, should they wish to further expand their duo repertoire. Maybe one day we'll hear the encore that Bernhard Neuhoff refers to in his booklet notes! This release defines piano heaven on earth.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Variations for 2 Pianos on a theme by Haydn, Op. 56b "St Anthony" by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Nelson Freire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Austria 
Rondo for Piano 4 hands in A major, D 951 "Grand Rondo" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Nelson Freire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
La valse by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Nelson Freire (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano), Nelson Freire (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940; USA 

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