www.theartsdesk.com chooses Leif Ove Andses’ Beethoven Piano Concertos recording amongst its Pick of the Week marvelling at “the lithe, responsive playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra – winds full of character and strings capable of reducing their sound to barely more than a whisper. And at Andsnes himself, who captures the burgeoning mixture of cheekiness and grandeur as well as anyone. His reading of the First Concerto (actually written second) is the cheeriest, sparkiest available, with a last movement that will provoke giggles.
“The Third Concerto is a weightier work, but Andsnes manages to stir a fair bit of wit and warmth in amongst all the C minor posturing. There are times when it’s like listening to an enraptured teenager discovering this music for the first time. As with the earlier work, it’s the orchestral playing which provides much of the magic. Effortless, affectionate but never slick, it’s as if these musicians were taped in a cosy Viennese café. Andsnes never puts a foot wrong; I was spellbound by his rapt intro to the slow movement. Nice packaging too.”