Following Stavanger’s sadness that Leif Ove Andsnes had to cancel his recital last December with Christian Tetzlaff due to illness, Norway’s west coast city has been enjoying a deluge of concerts.  In January Leif Ove gave two Beethoven concerto performances with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and last week he returned to give his first solo recital in the city’s dazzling new concert hall, perched on the waterfront.

The Aftenbladet newspaper responded with a 6 star review of Friday’s recital which featured two Beethoven sonatas as the main focus of the programme (the early Sonata in F, Op. 54 and the late Sonata in A major Op.101) balanced with works by Liszt and Chopin.

“These are two wonderful but utterly different sonatas” comments Andsnes. “The Op 54 is quirky and neglected, a two movement sonata, very concise and unsentimental. Op 101 has it all, and I have always loved the combination of the particular lyricism in the 1st and 3rd movement, the marching character of the 2nd movement and the ingenious way that Beethoven has with counterpoint and the invention of themes in the last.”

Leif Ove takes this recital programme on tour in April with performances in Bruges, Paris, London, Pavia, Munich, Lisbon, Oviedo, Madrid and Bilbao.