Mercury News reviews Leif Ove’s performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas

“This was a marvelous performance, immediately calming, while tapping into the profound vitality that nourishes the music. After the orchestra’s long introductory statement, the pianist entered with playing of crisp definition: absolutely clear, with bass lines etched to resound, and with harmonies voiced just so. You might say that Andsnes’ solo lines simply emerged from Beethoven’s nourishing well of vitality, like the real-time embodiment of an invisible force.

“The balance between orchestra and soloist was ideal. The Largo was like long, slow satisfying breaths, calmly pulsing and swaying to the conductor’s tempi, while Andsnes took obvious pleasure in shaping his phrases and savoring the melodies. Then the finale arrived with its staggered, galloping rhythm and dancing ebullience. You could feel the exuberance, the delight, in the pianist’s feathery touch.”