Austria’s Klassik Radio reports from the Rosendal Festival

“Since the start of his successful career Leif Ove Andsnes has been a passionate chamber music performer. And this passion he shows yet again in a wonderful new festival which he just launched.

“Central to the festival is the 17th century castle of Rosendal and its environs – the plush Red Room with its Pleyel Fortepiano dating from 1849, the new concert hall – the “Riddersalen” – formerly home to the farm’s sheep, and in the 12th century church of Kvinnherad with a view across the dark water and the fjord. And the theme of the first festival was “Schubert 1828”. Andsnes takes the final year of the composer’s life as the start point for the festival and its six programmes.

“Matthias Goerne opened the festival with a dramatic “Schwanengesang”; Sol Gabetta joined the Bretano Quartet for Schubert’s Quintet and together with Vilde Vrang and Bertrand Chamayou performed Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor. Alban Berg, Arne Nordheim, Jörg Widmann and John Harbisson also featured in the programme as did wonderful young Norwegian musical talent.  All of these performances took place in the midst of the beautiful, lush green Norwegian landscape.

“Alone the Fugue in E minor D952 (performed by Leif Ove Andsnes and Jie Zhang) is enough to make one realise that this is a fresh appreciation of Schubert’s music.  Debussy and Schumann were also performed, perfectly dovetailing in with the extraordinary history of the Rosendal castle and its surrounding park.

“The public is both curious and amazed as Leif Ove Andsnes approaches the music with both charm and sincerity.  Rosendal should be experienced!”