Warner Classics / 2007
Grieg & Schumann: Piano Concertos
Berliner Philharmoniker; Mariss Jansons, conductor
1. I. Allegro molto moderato
2. II. Adagio
3. III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Andante maestoso
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
4. I. Allegro affettuoso
5. II. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
6. III. Allegro vivace
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That inspirational quality is more markedly perceptible with the new version’s faster tempos, but the expressive flights remain just as broad. In that contrast, he’s firmly supported by Jansons and the Berlin Philharmonic, with playing not just refined but dramatic too in fiercely exciting tuttis. Schumann’s cello melodies are gloriously warm, with textures in both works admirably clear, and Andsnes fully responds to Schumann’s espressivo and ritardando requests.
…EMI’s finely balanced digital sound and the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic are also in this version’s favour. Andsnes also offers slightly faster basic speeds than his rivals; particularly enjoyable is the free-flowing tempo for the central Andantino grazioso of the Schumann, which you’d never mistake for a simple Andante.