Leif Ove Andsnes was presented with the 2022 Gramophone “Special Achievement” award in London this week for Mozart Momentum.

“This had Gramophone Award written all over it” says jury member, Harriet Smith. “The sense of a shared journey of exploration between Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra makes for a thrilling listen … Common to both volumes is a sense of exploration, a belief that music is a living, breathing art-form. It would be too simplistic to describe these merely as benchmark recordings, for while that’s undoubtedly true in terms of quality, it implies something too fixed for this most inspired and fluid of music-making: these albums capture the musicians’ thoughts on a particular day, but the day after a phrase, dynamic or articulation would come out differently.”

“So let’s abandon the term ‘benchmark’. What is striking is the egalitarianism: Andsnes is the leader of a gang who clearly adore him both as person and musician (you can hear it in every note, just as you could see it watching him and his fellow musicians interact in the Royal Albert Hall). These recordings could not have been made without the experience of the earlier ‘Beethoven Journey’ project, but Andsnes’s relationship with the orchestra, impressive then, has deepened, and the arrival of Matthew Truscott as leader has seemingly cemented that bond.”

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