The Boston Globe reviews Leif Ove Andsnes’ performance of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

“Andris Nelsons’s final program of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-17 season was imaginatively conceived, three somber works with playful undercurrents. A suite from Dmitri Shostakovich’s Incidental Music to Grigori Kozintsev’s 1941 theatrical production of “King Lear” was followed by Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, in G minor, and then, after intermission, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, in G major.

“To say Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto is not as popular as his other three would be an understatement: The BSO didn’t program it till 2002, and Nelsons’s soloist, Leif Ove Andsnes, is only the third pianist to do it with the orchestra. At 25 minutes, the piece is compact, and in its most famous recording, by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli back in 1957, it’s subtle, sophisticated, and as severe as the composer’s haircut.

“Andsnes opened it up with a reading that was less Russian Orthodox Church than Michelangeli’s, more like Russian spring. He could have had more thrust and weight, but there was a nice elasticity to his phrasing, and he underlined the Largo’s hints of blues and jazz, as well as its disquieting reference to “Three Blind Mice.” Nelsons was a vivid accompanist …”


Source: Boston Globe