Austria’s Die Presse reviews the Salzburg Festival recital
“It would have been so nice on 22 August, exactly 150 years after the birth of the French composer, to have had the pianist Krystian Zimerman play a pure Debussy program, but he had to cancel because of illness. The festival took place with the Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes as a worldclass replacement. He traveled with his current tour program that he will soon be playing at the Schubertiade. As an encore, with great clarity and severe melancholy calm, he played Debussy’s “Hommage à Rameau” meditating on the pre-classical dance form of the Sarabande, whilst the actual program went straight into the heart of classical music: Beethoven’s” Waldstein ” Sonata and Sonata No. 22.
“Beethoven transported the sonata form into new realms, and here it approaches something close to the symphony, creating a much greater surge of superiority. And the work is all about form. Andsnes saw this as the main objective in his interpretation. He’s not one to rush to the forground interpretively. In him all things balance, the clear presentation of the structure is in the beautiful pianistic balance of the whole. And he is able to put into practice a wonderful technique which he never uses pretentiously.
“Nevertheless he does not waive from individual accents – as when he particularly accentuated the pause at the end of the short Adagio introduction in the second set and the long fermata before it opens wonderfully song like into the Rondo. His use of the pedals is also perfect – nothing is veiled … Sure, it’s a more internalized Beethoven, which can sometimes be perceived as too introverted, but its a fascinatingly clear Beethoven encounter.”
Photo credit © Wolfgang Lienbacher
Source: Die Presse