Leif Ove Andsnes - Horizons

Pick'n'mix delights from a master pianist that bring a smile to the face

Author: 
Jeremy Nicholas

Leif Ove Andsnes - Horizons

  • (13) Pieces, Etude
  • (2) Impromptus, B
  • (48) Songs without Words, No. 2, Allegro leggiero in F sharp minor
  • (6) Lieder, No. 2, Ständchen
  • Paisajes, El lago (1947)
  • (10) Chorale Preludes (Bach), Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV639)
  • (3) Impromptus, No. 1 in A flat, Op. 29
  • (3) Liebesträume, No. 3 in A flat, O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst
  • (The) Golden Age, Polka
  • España, No. 2, Tango
  • Cançons i danses, Cançó: Petiteta l'han casada; Dansa: La dansatersol (1921)
  • (6) Chants polonais (Chopin), Meine Freuden (Mes Joies)
  • Valse impromptu
  • (2) Toccatas, No 2
  • Coin de rue
  • Veslemöy's song
  • (4) Humoresques, Allegretto con grazia
  • Am Seegestade (Concert Study)
  • (2) Pieces, Lotus Land
  • (10) Histoires, Le petite âne blanc
  • Suite bergamasque, Clair de lune
  • Stimmungen, Folktune

Andsnes here reveals a hitherto hidden side to his art – the salon charmer. Some of the pieces are favourites from his childhood, though it is not every nine-year-old who has tackled Sibelius’s uncharacteristically jolly “Staccato” Etude (from 13 Pieces, c1914) or mastered Chopin’s First Impromptu with such fluency and grace. I liked, too, the drama and sweep he brings to Liszt’s Liebesträume No 3 (though it will not suit everyone’s taste) and his avoidance of cliché, while the Norwegian’s own transcription of Halvorsen’s Chant de Veslemöy (originally for violin), Ibert’s Le petit âne blanc and Debussy’s Clair de lune are played with a beguiling innocence, ravishing tonal finesse and – most important – palpable affection.

Bravura highlights include Gieseking’s effulgent transcription of Richard Strauss’s Ständchen and Smetana’s Am Seegestade (“By the sea”), once a favourite encore of Ossip Gabrilowitsch, reminiscent of Raff’s La fileuse and a rare example of a concert étude that opens in one key (B major) and closes a tone lower! Enterprisingly, Andsnes has tracked down a score of Charles Trénet’s song “Coin de rue” transcribed by the coyly named “Mr Nobody” whom I have no qualms about outing as none other than Alexis Weissenberg. If Cherkassky brings more mischievous humour to the Shostakovich Polka and I harbour a preference for Godowsky’s version of Albéniz’s Tango (“a thin, weak, undistinguished whisp of conventional Hispanicism” – Sorabji) these are minor cavils.

The whole recital is superbly recorded. As Andsnes himself says, “It’s great to see people walk away from a concert with a smile on their face”. This disc has the same effect.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019