Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johannes Brahms, Simon Rattle, Leif Ove Andsnes|
Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 1 · Three Intermezzi / Andsnes · Birmingham SO · Rattle
This performance of the Piano Concerto won't be to everyone's taste. Leif Ove Andsnes, who has a decided point of view on the music, plays with his emphasis on the lyrical aspects of the music. He could obviously play the ... more »
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This performance of the Piano Concerto won't be to everyone's taste. Leif Ove Andsnes, who has a decided point of view on the music, plays with his emphasis on the lyrical aspects of the music. He could obviously play the heroic outbursts of the first movement as strongly as he wants to, but he downplays them somewhat to keep them in context. You can get more excitement in other places, but only Curzon and Moravec have made this concerto such a poetic, emotional experience. Simon Rattle and the orchestra second Andsnes's viewpoint very convincingly. The Intermezzi, already elegiac in tone, are particularly affecting as Andsnes plays them; this "bonus" could easily be worth the price of the disc. --Leslie Gerber
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Leif Ove Andsnes and Brahms: A Strong Combination
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leif Ove Andsnes is a technically facile, poetically inclined young pianist who seems to regard music making as a communication with the composer, and the evidence of this has rarely been more evident than on this very fine CD that couples his performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor with three of Brahms' Intermezzi for piano alone. While there are many performances of this concerto on recordings, certainly this Andsnes collaboration with Simon Rattle and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra now ranks among the finest.
Leif Ove Andsnes approaches this concerto with a sense of profound respect, and that is to say that his interpretation seems less about startling the audience than about finding the poetry of the work. His technical ability is equal or superior to his colleagues and he is able to produce the lightning flashes of the fast sections with accuracy and subtle phrasing. In the slower portions he allows the poetry to sing without 'over-romanticizing' the passages. This is a wholly satisfying account of this concerto. And the three Intermezzi Andsnes adds as an encore are simply eloquent.
The Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes is currently touring the US in both recitals and in performances with the major orchestras. At a recent concert with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall he offered his interpretation of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, the concerto he is featuring on this current tour. This listener has rarely heard the complete perfection of collaboration that Andsnes and Salonen created in this performance. All of the power of the first two movements was exciting and yet never 'over the top' - the temptation many pianists embrace. Andsnes is at all times in conversation with the orchestra, picking up phrases or leading phrases with the various sections of the orchestra with a sensitivity rarely heard in performances today. His 'duet' with the cello in the third movement was as tender and arching and finessed as any this listener has ever heard. One can only hope that Andsnes (hopefully with Salonen and the LA Phil!) will record this Brahms Second Piano Concerto soon.
Among the many recordings available of this great piano concerto this informed and gentle and passionate performance is one that deserves a place in every music lover's library. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, May 08"
A bold, adventurous account
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sir Simon saw the need to remake the Brahms First Cto with the Belin Phil. and Krystian Zimerman last year, but listening to this bold, adventurous account that he did years earlier in Birmingham, I wonder if that was wise. Zimerman and Rattle feed off each other's predileciton for fussiness and micromanaging of phrases, while in this reading that is kept to a minimum. I had never completely warmed up to Andsnes in the half dozen or so CDs of his that I've sampled, but he's tremendous here -- in total command technically, making comparisons to Horowitz actually credible.
The CBSO isn't a world-class orchestra, and the strings turn a bit thin and screechy during the most difficult loud passages in the opening. After that, however, they join in perfect synch with the joyous conception shared by conductor and soloist. When British critics swoon over every note Rattle conducts, I turn a skeptical ear, but this time the raptures are justified. This is a great recording of a notoriously cumbersome piece. Nothing sounds awkward here, however -- the concerto feels like a masterpiece from beginning to end."
David Saemann | 03/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I wish I could give this disc the same glowing affirmation other reviewers have done, but I have some reservations about the disc. There is no question that Leif Ove Andsnes plays the Concerto very well. He has an excellent sense of pacing, and his articulation is clear and beguiling. Unfortunately, Rattle's contribution is not up to this level. First of all, his orchestra sounds scrawny, especially the strings. There are a few tuttis where the strings create something of a frisson, but in the main they are dry and wiry. And Rattle's accompaniment is much too straitlaced, with little feeling for the ebb and flow of the music. One only needs to listen to one of George Szell's recordings of this piece to hear what is missing. Often, Andsnes produces a lovely turn of phrase, only to be followed by a pedantically stiff orchestral contribution. To make matters worse, the sound engineering in the Concerto is unpleasantly dry and lacking in warmth. So, this is a recording that has its good points, but which never could be considered a prime recommendation for the work. The Intermezzi are beautifully played and excellently recorded in a Norwegian church."