In advance of Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s Beethoven Residency in the Vienna Musikverein, the Salzburger Nachrichten takes stock of the Beethoven Journey as it comes to a conclusion:

“What a project! For three and a half years, Leif Ove Andsnes has devoted himself almost entirely to the five piano concertos and sonatas by Beethoven. Originally, there should have been 19 countries he wished to visit, now there are 22 countries and 55 cities where the Norwegian master pianist has played almost exclusively Beethoven with 150 performances. And the journey continues. Only in July 2015 will the project end, at which point Andsnes will return to a “normal” pianistic life. “Then I will play everything from Haydn to Lutoslawski again,” he recently told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

“… He is one who has made a deliberate career. He does not belong to the “blenders”, but has always been one of the most serious, most profound, most reflective and most musical performers in the best sense of his craft: thorough, smart, unpretentious.

“The vitality comes with this pianist from the inside, the unerring drive to his art. He wanted and wants to discover details in the works that commonly go unnoticed. He wants to explore with ruthless precision, bringing out the essence of the music in its substantial depth  …  His is a touching, direct, simple and simply human approach. Music, nothing but music …”

Source: Salzburger Nachrichten