Sony Classical / 2012
Beethoven Journey: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Over the next four seasons, the celebrated Norwegian pianist and newly-signed exclusive Sony Classical artist Leif Ove Andsnes will devote the majority of his performing and recording activities to the music of Beethoven.
‘The Beethoven Journey’ is a collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, one of the world´s most acclaimed touring orchestras, on the move approximately 200 days each year. The 45 core members of the MCO come from 20 different countries and live all over Europe. The journey began with the live recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 at Prague Spring Festival in the historic Rudolfinum building, where Andsnes is not only playing the piano but also directing the orchestra. Although Andsnes has an extensive discography ‘The Beethoven Journey’ is his first Beethoven recording.
1. I. Allegro con brio
2. II. Largo
3. III. Rondo. Allegro scherzando
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
4. I. Allegro con brio
5. II. Largo
6. III. Rondo. Allegro
Listen on Spotify
Some of the best Beethoven playing you will ever hear…clearly, this is music that Andsnes has been living with for many years – and it now emerges with an impressive maturity…The crisp, well-sprung playing in the introductions to both concertos could easily be mistaken for that of a period-instrument orchestra.
There’s a palpable sense of discovery, of living the music…You know you’re in remarkable musical company before the piano has sounded a note…Of course, this isn’t just down to the players: it’s Andsnes’s conception right from the start…What’s also very striking is that these performances are not simply about elan and energy: they have a sense of gravitas, too, of rightness, that you find in the greatest Beethoven interpreters.
He has all of the power that Beethoven’s writing often requires, yet his playing is also elegant and sometimes even understated…Let the journey continue!
What these performances also have is a quality that is not always quite so obvious when he is alone on the concert platform – a real sense of enjoyment in playing, and the business of communicating that enjoyment to an audience…The incidental beauties – the articulacy of Andsnes’s left hand is a marvel in itself, for instance – are all part of that, too.