The Chicago Classical Review follows Leif Ove’s US recital tour

“For the Chicago leg of his long-running Beethoven Journey series, which has been focused on the composer’s concertos, Leif Ove Andsnes brought to Symphony Center his first all-Beethoven recital—a well thought-out program of solo masterworks.  The Norwegian pianist is turning his full attention to the composer in a reflective and well-considered manner that offered rewards for concertgoers as well as his league of followers.

… The triumph of the evening and the one unquestionable masterpiece included was the so-called “Appassionata” Sonata No. 23, Op. 57.  In the context of the other pieces on the program, this middle-period work benefited from their proximity. The raw materials were worked into a giant edifice, which was assailed by the pianist finding ideal tempos and dynamics for the composer’s purposes. Andsnes displayed even runs, vigorous swells and tonal contrasts all handled with profundity and nearly flawless technique.

The lyrical first movement was sheer pleasure, and the bold second movement displayed the fierce grandeur of the real Beethoven. After a reflective opening, the third movement embarked on its adventurous journey. The hyperkinetic finale was worth the wait, Andsnes’ Presto conclusion bringing down the house …”



Source: Chicago Classical Review