reviews Leif Ove’s recital in Lucerne

“… For me, Schubert’s stunning Drei Klavierstücke D946 of 1828 included the evening’s most lyrical passages, and I was also impressed by the noticeable attention Andsnes paid to the active dialogue in the work. He sometimes used the scripted pauses to look straight ahead as if to ask the composer, “What, that?” Further, and particularly in the third movement, his momentum was rousing, such that the piece just shone with ebullience.

“After the interval, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 17 in D minor “The Tempest” was no less stellar … the fluidity of his rendition, rich fabric of tonalities, and sovereign command of the motif was superb, and anyone who loves the changing colours and furious temper of a storm would attest to that. One critic wrote eloquently that Andsnes plays Beethoven with “Chopin-like clarity, and Liszt-like pianistic grace”. In light of this performance, I couldn’t agree more.

“The concert ended with a small feast of two Frédéric Chopin works, both from the 1840s. The Nocturne in B major, Op.62, no. 1 moved from the delicate to emphatic in a heartbeat: sheer magic. Then, given its audio loops, ribbons, tempi changes and rotund, robust melodies, the dance music of the Ballade no. 4 in F minor, Op.52 was just as inspired. In the finale, a whole universe of notes was played furiously, and Andsnes had to master a huge physical challenge: one could hear him pacing his breathing even from the 15th row. Yet as challenging as that effort was, so tremendous was our enjoyment!”