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Maria Joao Pires, Sinfonia Varsovia, Christopher Warren-Green - Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2; Nocturnes (2015)

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Maria Joao Pires, Sinfonia Varsovia, Christopher Warren-Green - Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2; Nocturnes (2015)

Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2 in F Minor, Op.21; Nocturnes (2015)
Maria João Pires, piano; Sinfonia Varsovia; Christopher Warren-Green, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 247 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 179 Mb | Scans ~ 74 Mb
Classical | Label: Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina | # NIFCCD 040 | 01:15:55

This grande dame of the piano world, possessed of an extraordinarily modest, charming personality – focused on the music, devoted to deeply understanding it – has performed three times during the Chopin and His Europe Festival at the invitation of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The recordings on this album come from her concerts in 2010 (when she performed the Piano Concerto in F minor op. 21 with the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra under the baton of Christopher Warren-Green) and 2014 (when she performed a recital including, among other items, the Nocturnes presented here). A presentation of – by nature – completely different interpretations, which nonetheless form an extraordinarily coherent artistic whole. Superb creations displaying the most beautiful side of pianistic art.

Antonio Meneses & Maria Joao Pires - The Wigmore Hall Recital (2013) [Re-Up]

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Antonio Meneses & Maria Joao Pires - The Wigmore Hall Recital (2013) [Re-Up]

Antonio Meneses & Maria João Pires - The Wigmore Hall Recital (2013)
works by Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 318 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 205 Mb | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # UCCG-1614 | Time: 01:16:34

This album was recorded live at London's Wigmore Hall in January 2012, and it would be interesting to know whether its release was planned ahead of time or motivated by ongoing affection for the performances. Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses and Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires have often played as a duo, and the easy conversational quality they have achieved is fully evident here. But the beauty goes beyond the usual chamber music competences. Meneses is rightly renowned for his rich tone, which remains undamaged even in the upper reaches of the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata in A minor, a work written for a defunct six-stringed instrument somewhere between cello and guitar; it lies a bit high for the cello, but Meneses is untroubled by that. The real star of the show, though, may be Pires, who contributes some deeply mysterious Brahms Intermezzi and calibrates her role with astonishing precision in the duo works, emerging into full duet partnership in the final Brahms Cello Sonata in E minor, Op. 38. Beautiful and more, with a dark, melancholy strain unifying the whole, this is chamber music reminiscent of the golden age. Deutsche Grammophon's engineering team also deserves notice for the startling live presence, undiminished by intrusions of noise.

Maria Joao Pires - Verdes Anos 1976-1985: J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart (2005) 5CD Box Set

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Maria Joao Pires - Verdes Anos 1976-1985: J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart (2005) 5CD Box Set

Maria João Pires - Verdes Anos 1976-1985 (2005) 5CD Box Set
J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 1.21 Gb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 780 Mb | Scans ~ 22 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: Erato/Warner Classics | # 2564612482 | Time: 05:30:10

Maria João Pires “shapes and colours every phrase, and with immaculate taste, and she makes sure the phrases end as eloquently as they begin,” wrote Gramophone in 1974. “She conveys not just the details but the relevance of every note to the whole … Best of all, she communicates everything she has discovered about the music, and it is worth having.” This Portuguese pupil of Wilhelm Kempff, Pires was one of the artists who defined the Erato label in the 1970s and 1980s. This 5-CD box gathers together the recordings she made over the period from 1976 to 1985 and it reflects the consistent focus of her repertoire, with its special emphasis on Austro-German composers of the Classical and early-Romantic periods. Embracing solo works, piano duets and concertos, it contains works by Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, but also by Bach and Chopin.

Maria Joao Pires, Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado - W.A. Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 27 (2012) [Re-Up]

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Maria Joao Pires, Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado - W.A. Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 27 (2012) [Re-Up]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20 & 27 (2012)
Maria João Pires, piano; Orchestra Mozart; Claudio Abbado, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 252 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 174 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 479 0075 GH | Time: 01:00:14

It's a recording that just a few years ago would have been mainstream: a "name" pianist (albeit one much less well known in the U.S. than elsehwere), who has been playing Mozart's piano concertos since childhood, joins forces with a name conductor with whom she has frequently collaborated, leading a modern-instrument orchestra of some 70 players, with the results released on a major international-conglomerate label. Now it's distinctly unusual. But lo, there's value in the old ways. Portuguese-Brazilian pianist Maria-João Pires is a lifelong Mozart specialist, but she still has new things to say in two of Mozart's most popular piano concertos. You can chalk it up to her Buddhist outlook if you like: her readings of the Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595, and Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466, might be described as detached without being lifeless. Her approach is most startling in the Piano Concerto No. 20, where her no-drama shaping of the material runs sharply counter to type. Sample the piano's entrance in the first movement, where it offers a twisting, tense elaboration of the main theme that is far removed from its source material. Generally pianists use this to raise the tension level, but Pires lets the unusually shaped, chromatic line speak for itself with fine effect.

Maria Joao Pires - Frederic Chopin: The Nocturnes, Complete Recording (1996) 2CDs

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Maria Joao Pires - Frederic Chopin: The Nocturnes, Complete Recording (1996) 2CDs

Maria João Pires - Frédéric Chopin: The Nocturnes, Complete Recording (1996) 2CDs
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 344 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 271 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 477 096-2 | Time: 01:49:11

Passion rather than insouciance is Pires’s keynote. Here is no soft, moonlit option but an intensity and drama that scorn all complacent salon or drawing-room expectations. How she relishes Chopin’s central storms, creating a vivid and spectacular yet unhistrionic contrast with all surrounding serenity or ‘embalmed darkness’. The con fuoco of Op. 15 No. 1 erupts in a fine fury and in the first Nocturne, Op. 9 No. 1, Pires’s sharp observance of Chopin’s appassionato marking comes like a prophecy of the coda’s sudden blaze. Such resolution and psychological awareness make you realize that Chopin, like D. H. Lawrence, may well have thought that “there must be a bit of fear, and a bit of horror in your life”. Chopin, Pires informs us in no uncertain terms, was no sentimentalist.

Maria João Pires - Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas (5CD) (2005)

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Maria João Pires - Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas (5CD) (2005)

Maria João Pires - Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas (5CD) (2005)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 05:24:04 | 1.3 Gb
Genre: Classical | Label: Brilliant Classics | Catalog: 92733

The Portuguese pianist Maria Joa?o Pires has long been associated with the music of Mozart. Her delicacy of touch, vibrancy of phrasing and sense of fantasy mark her out as one of the elect who can touch his keyboard music without coarsening or sim- plifying it. She has made two complete cycles of the sonatas; reissued here is the first one, from the days in the 1970s when she first appeared on the international scene and won over listeners with a graceful purity of approach that left more famous names trailing in her wake.The later cycle brought added refinement, but anyone who is captivated by this still undervalued corpus – too difficult for beginners, yet scorned by many professionals in search of gaudier glories – will want to hear this set.

Maria João Pires, Daniel Harding - Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 (2014)

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Maria João Pires, Daniel Harding - Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 (2014)

Maria João Pires, Daniel Harding - Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4 (2014)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 01:11:28 | 264 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Onyx Classics | Catalog: ONYX 4125

This release on the Onyx Classics label has no right to be as good as it is. Pianist Maria-João Pires, 70 years old when the album appeared in 2014, has never been known as a Beethoven specialist. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding is a competent group, surely, but hardly on Europe's or even Scandinavia's A-list. The Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, and Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, hardly lack for varied and incisive interpretations. Yet there it is: this one delivers ideas that nobody else has offered before. In a nutshell, Pires makes the piano the quiet partner to a rather martial orchestra in these works.