The Salzburger Nachrichten reviews the Salzburg Festival recital

“The “stand-in” for Zimerman took over the evening, but this was more than just a “substitute”. The 42-year-old Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes is one of the most exemplary and serious musicians – not just of his generation. Any “star” attitude is alien to him …. this is “pure”, unerringly precise piano playing.
“That  does not mean that Andsnes hasn’t got charisma enough to perform a well-considered and cleverly crafted sensual evening sensual. Only, its not about the (self-) representation – its purely about the music. Just take for example the way he formed the second part of the evening with Chopin.  When Andsnes binds together the three waltzes of Opus 70 and the Grande Valse, Op 42 into one bouquet, the elegance always maintains something aristocratic – the swinging dance moving magically and enchantingly without any false exaltation …
“In the first part Leif Ove Andsnes played Beethoven – also with an obstinate touch. He opened with the weighty Opus 53, the “Waldstein”. The rhythmic pounding chords of the introductory phrase are not made into thunderous bravado, but as a stimulus for the purposeful development of the sonata’s form captured completely  “musically” and brought out to distinction . The Intermezzo is like the recitative to the Rondo-final song, that Andsnes unfolds with great tranquility and inner tension.
“That he then followed this up with Beethoven’s seldom heard and uncontrollable F major Sonata, op. 54 – with his refined playing of the „Tempo d’ un Minuetto“ and a clever game of perpertual motion which could only be achieved with such highly technical mastery – testifies to the absolute consistency with which Leif Ove Andsnes expanded its program. He concluded as a second encore Debussy (Hommage of à Rameau), was an additional classy birthday greeting.”

Photo credit © Wolfgang Lienbacher

Source: Salzburger Nachrichten

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