The Washington Post reviews Leif Ove Andsnes’ recital at the Kennedy Center

“Chopin and Debussy finished the program. Andsnes has been intently focused on Beethoven in recent years, but the four Debussy pieces (including three of the fiendishly difficult Etudes) suggest he is no less masterful in this repertoire. And his Chopin is thrilling, too, played with delicacy, nervous energy, and a spare, almost dry tone. Andsnes’s exceptional articulation — in music a bit like diction in speech, but essential to a range of effects, including color — serves him well in anything he plays. But in Chopin it can cause goose bumps. When Chopin repeats the haunting, opening melodic line in the Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15, No. 1, he ornaments it with two delicate triplet figures, wispy, inconsequential little things tossed off quickly and with no particular importance. Except there’s a world of finesse and grace in this kind of detail, and anyone who heard Andsnes play them Saturday knows that everything that matters about Chopin was there, concentrated and complete in eight little notes that collectively last perhaps a fraction of a second. Great artists, like Andsnes, make nanoseconds indelibly memorable.

 

Source: Washington Post

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