The Daily Telegraph gives the 2nd volume of the Beethoven Journey a 5 out of 5 star review
“From time to time, the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes decides to orientate his professional life towards certain specific projects. Back in 2008 he revisited and reassessed the music of his fellow countryman, Grieg, using the disquieting G minor Ballade as an initial point of reference and finding in the music a “beauty and space” that triggered the iconic photo of Andsnes playing the piano at the top of a mountain.
“His project now and for future seasons is Beethoven – more Olympian heights, perhaps, but in the musical rather than the geological sense.
“… The style is an intriguing amalgam of certain nods towards “historically aware” playing (keen, incisive accents, sparing use of vibrato in the orchestral strings) with the sonority of a modern grand piano. But it works well, with Andsnes’s characteristic blend of physicality, limpid clarity and poetic subtlety in the Second Concerto finding a match in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s refined technique and animated colouring.
The Fourth Concerto, regarded as an oddity when Beethoven himself performed it for the first time in 1808, continues to spring its surprises in this new, vital performance, establishing a true dialogue between piano and orchestra and delving fruitfully for expressive emphasis and nuance in the textures of both. This leg of Andsnes’s interpretative journey is a landmark of artistic integrity, intelligence and musical insight.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph