After hearing Pires playing one of the Impromptus on Radio 3 I immediately and feverishly downloaded this as soon as the music had finished
And I have been soaking in this music, as if it were crystalline water in some enchanted, secluded grotto. Yes, fine, there is technical mastery here – but so much more. This is expressive, emotionally engaged playing, yes, but it is also extremely refined. Not otiose flamboyance, even in the thundering passages, we don’t get the musician ‘showing off’, we get the music itself being shown.
At times, I steer away from the Romantic canon, as it can lead to some self-indulgent playing, and feel a little chocolate boxy, but Pires is light years away from self-indulgence, and from the saccharine