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Víkingur Ólafsson, Easy Listening

Charles T. Downey, Pianist presents dreamy, snoozy images of ‘The North’
Washington Post, February 27, 2013

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Debut, V. Ólafsson
“Nordic Cool,” the name of the Kennedy Center’s cultural festival this year, evokes many characteristics of the world’s northern regions: its vastness, its emptiness, its frigidity, its silence. Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson took Glenn Gould’s cryptically autobiographical thoughts on this “Idea of North” as the basis of an odd recital, “The North Is a State of Mind,” that he performed at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on Monday night.

As it turned out, this wan and bloodless program, consisting mostly of dreamy music dreamily played, was more like “Nordic Mellow.” Olafsson has a delicate touch at the keyboard and chose mostly sedate, less challenging fare to highlight that aspect of his playing, his sense of rubato mostly focused on slowing down. [Continue reading]
Víkingur Ólafsson, piano
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

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