Sony classical / 2014

Beethoven Journey (Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4)

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

“An effortlessly musical performance, helped by the immaculate playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. And, as in the first disc of the series, Andsnes’s attention to orchestral detail while conducting from the keyboard is praiseworthy.”

– BBC Music Magazine *****

The celebrated Norwegian pianist continues his multi-annual journey in collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to Beethoven´s five piano concertos. The recording series began with the live recording of the Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 at Prague Spring Festival in the historic Rudolfinum building and is now followed by the Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4. Andsnes is not only playing the piano but also directing the orchestra. The journey will continue with the live recording of the Piano Concerto No. 5 and Choral Fantasy again at the Rudolfinum in Prague.

“The Beethoven Journey” is a composite work of Leif Ove Andsnes with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The Berlin based orchestra is one of the world´s most acclaimed touring orchestras, on the move approximately 200 days each year. The 45 core members of the MCO come from 20 different countries and live all over Europe.

Track Listing
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
1. I. Allegro con brio
2. II. Adagio
3. III. Rondo. Molto allegro

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
4. I. Allegro moderato
5. II. Andante con moto
6. III. Rondo. Vivace

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Andsnes has two great assets: a highly reactive chamber orchestra of the first rank and a acumen as a Mozartian that stands him in good stead…such is the clarity of detail that I find myself noticing details I’ve never heard before…Another extraordinary achievement from all concerned, sound engineers included.

[Andsnes] has perfect rapport with the Mahler CO, and both performances are very fine. In their hands, the early, “lightweight” No 2 becomes truly Beethovenian.
The Sunday Times


Andsnes responds to an almost childlike wonder and innocence in these concertos with a performance full of optimism and light…It’s a serene performance that grips, but lightly.
The Independent

The style is an intriguing amalgam of certain nods towards “historically aware” playing…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 Telegraph