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Any recording by Freire is an event: this one especially so, as his first complete disc of Bach. At over 80 minutes, maximal value meets maximal quality. There is a purity to Freire’s Bach, born of the deepest understanding. The two largest works, the Partita and English Suite, alternate with shorter but no less significant pieces, and both unfold as varied tapestries of emotions, impeccably drawn. The Toccata was famously recorded by his compatriot Argerich; Freire’s take is more variegated, while the Chromatic Fantasy boasts a Fugue subject that enters in a miracle of subtlety. The arrangements, starting with Bach/ Marcello and on to Busoni, Siloti and Hess, are far more than makeweights. Freire’s bright tone is perfectly captured. A release worth its weight in gold.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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