The poet of the piano only wrote two concertos, both born of the same creative burst in 1829-30 when Chopin was no more than 20 years old. His Concerto in F Minor (called No. 2 but actually written first) overflows with Polish flair, exquisite cantabile melodies, and a sublime Larghetto that “sounds like the opening of a gate to some haven of love and peace,” in the words of the writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Who better than Nelson Freire to convey the lyricism of this essential, archetypical masterpiece of Romanticism? The beloved Brazilian virtuoso, who sadly left us in November 2021, was one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Chopin, winning awards like the Diapason d’Or for his readings of the Polish-French composer.
The prodigious Lionel Bringuier (boasting “good instincts […] bolstered by good taste plus a strong technique”: Financial Times), just 24 in this delightful 2010 recording, conducts the BBC Orchestra in a generous program that opens with Berlioz’s lighthearted, cheeky Le Corsaire Overture, continues with Albert Roussel’s Symphony No. 3—brimming with adventure, perhaps the fruit of the composer’s long experience as a sailor across the Atlantic and in Southeast Asia—and closes with the enchanting impressionism of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. Don’t miss this uniquely crafted concert guaranteed to stir the imagination!
Verbier Festival 2007