A giant of the piano world

Nelson Freire is a giant of the piano world, having been at the front rank of soloists for well over half a century. Not surprisingly, his recordings were included in Philips’ canonical Great Pianists of the 20th Century series. Fittingly, this monarch of the piano performs the crowning achievement of Beethoven’s five piano concertos, the “Emperor”.

Written when the embers of war were still warm, Shostakovich’s Symphony No 9 is not the grand, triumphant symphony that many were expecting, but an altogether more subtle composition that combines revelry and reflection with bittersweet pathos. Britten reorchestrated the second movement of Mahler’s Symphony No 3 in an effort to bring the great symphonist’s music to a wider public. What the Wild Flowers Tell Me is an affectionate tribute from one composer to another.

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Performers in this concert