Leif Ove Andsnes is a prolific recording artist, whose extensive discography has been recognized with eleven Grammy nominations and seven Gramophone Awards. Before recording exclusively, as now, for Sony Classical, he signed with Virgin Classics in 1990 and with EMI Classics nine years later. Having acquired both catalogs in 2013, now Warner Music Group issues Leif Ove Andsnes: The Complete Warner Classics Edition (1990-2010) on October 13 in Europe and in November in the States.
A 36-CD retrospective, the collection chronicles a 20-year partnership that yielded a rich seam of treasures. These include Andsnes’s Gramophone Award-winning recordings of music by his compatriot Edvard Grieg: the Lyric Pieces, some of which were captured on the composer’s own piano at Troldhaugen, and the Piano Concerto, recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic, which received a coveted Penguin Guide “Rosette.” Other highlights include world premiere recordings of Marc-André Dalbavie’s Piano Concerto and Bent Sørensen’s The Shadows of Silence, both written for Andsnes; Schubert’s late sonatas, paired with lieder sung by Ian Bostridge; and Rachmaninov’s four Piano Concertos, variously recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Schumann, Mussorgsky, Liszt, Brahms, Dvořák, Debussy, Janáček, Nielsen, Ravel, Szymanowski, Bartók, Shostakovich, Britten and Lutosławski are among the other composers featured in the collection. Andsnes says:
“Only now do I realize how lucky I was! In the 1990s, classical music saw an unparalleled recording boom due to the new CD format, and I got to be a part of it. I signed a contract as a 20-year-old with the exciting newcomer on the block, Virgin Classics, and the possibilities seemed endless. Looking back on these 20 years of recording for Virgin and EMI Classics, I can also see how the opportunity to make recordings often shaped my choice of repertory, giving my projects and concert tours direction and purpose. It is truly difficult to listen to your own recordings, but my overall feeling is that these seem to honestly represent who I was and how I was thinking and feeling about this music at the time.”