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Leif Ove Andsnes

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Charles T. Downey, Leif Ove Andsnes at Strathmore: Pianist brings poetry, introspection
Washington Post, February 14, 2012

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Haydn, Piano Sonatas, Leif Ove Andsnes

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Chopin, Sonatas / Etudes / Mazurkas, Leif Ove Andsnes
Leif Ove Andsnes will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his recital debut next month in Oslo, and this distinctive Norwegian pianist has made periodic visits to Washington for most of that remarkable career. The Washington Performing Arts Society brought him to the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday night to play the same program he will perform in Oslo. Andsnes held audience members in rapt silence, controlling with hieratic authority even the impulse to applaud, hypnotizing us with his almost obsessive concern for the finest details of sound.

Andsnes opened with an introspective reading of an introspective Haydn sonata (C minor, Hob. XVI:20), distinguished by a delicacy of touch and multicolored shading of phrases. The fast movements were perhaps a little too fast, leading to some slightly smudged decorative elements in the moderato first movement, especially evident in the breathless sextuplet accompaniment of the development section. This was not merely overblown showmanship, though, even in the breakneck finale that was more vivace than simply allegro, but more fascination in the busy burbling of figuration. Small poetic moments were finely polished, such as the pause for reverie at the adagio mini-cadenzas before the closing sections in the first movement. The second movement’s slightly pointed quality was thankfully softened on the repeats. [Continue reading]
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Washington Performing Arts Society
Music Center at Strathmore

Haydn, C minor piano sonata (Hob. XVI:20), as played by Alfred Brendel (1st movement, 2nd, 3rd)

Bartók, Suite, op. 14 (1916) (as recorded by the composer)

Debussy, Images, 1ère série (as played by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Reflets dans l'eau, Hommage à Rameau, Mouvement)

Chopin (see Chopin First Editions Online), Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, op. 47 (as played by Evgeny Kissin); Four Waltzes; Nocturne in B Major, op. 62/1 (as played by Aldo Ciccolini); Ballade No. 1 in G minor, op. 23

Previously on Ionarts:
2009 | 2008

Katherine Boyle, Grammy nominee Leif Ove Andsnes is ready to play — but not at awards show (Washington Post, February 11)

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