The piano is really a huge percussion box in which sounds are made by hammers striking steel strung under thousands of pounds of pressure. Beautiful sounds should not be able to come out of such an instrument, and, in fact, they rarely do -- even when played by some very famous pianists.
In terms of popular acclaim, Nelson Freire is not a very famous pianist. But last night the Brazilian-born artist made some of the most beautiful sounds this listener has ever heard come out of a piano.
With the Baltimore Symphony and guest conductor James DePreist, Freire gave an extraordinarily poetic and personal performance of the beloved Schumann Concerto.