Two new records and a grand tour for Leif Ove Andsnes

Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes has established himself firmly as one of the most important pianists of the era. Some go even further in their praise of the 37-year-old. Today saw the Norwegian release of his recording of Mozart’s piano concertos no 17 and 20.

Leif Ove Andsnes 2006 (photo: Simon Fowler)

Following his first Mozart album (concertos no 9 and 18) from 2004, which is the best selling release of his career, the new album has been highly anticipated among classical lovers around the world. Featuring Andsnes with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra the record, released by EMI Classics, has already received splendid reviews in major British papers, such as this one from the Times (Feb. 16th) :

"Andsnes is a self-confessed latecomer to Mozart, but this recording of two Vienna showpiece concertos is packed with his usual refined touch and judgment. Juxtaposing the bright Concerto in G (K453) and the more sombre Concerto in D Minor (K466) is a fine idea, Andsnes's cool refinement subtly elucidating Mozart's distinctly operatic writing. The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra provide a somewhat robust if chirpy opening to K453 with Andsnes beautifully phrased in the cadenza. His Andante is thoughtful, proud, as if keeping up appearances in the face of long-lived tragedy. The darker K466 presages a layered, unselfish performance that rewards repeat listening."

The Mozart release comes only two weeks after another important release form the prolific artist, The Late Schubert Sonatas. The record is a collection taken from his previous series of Schubert recordings with English tenor Ian Bostridge, which featured pairings of performances of major solo piano works with select songs. Classics Today gave the initial release, featuring Schubert’s epic B-flat Sonata, D. 960, its top rating and called it “One of the most perceptive, sensitively phrased, and technically cultivated interpretations of the sublime B-flat ‘Opus Posthumous’ sonata on disc.” The album was also a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice,” which called the sonata performance “superb” and noted that, “Andsnes grows in stature as a performer with every disc.”

In early march Andsnes embarks on an extensive recital tour of Europe and the US. Commencing on March second the 22-date tour will see him perform in Århus, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, London, Prague, Paris, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Florence, Graz, Vienna, Brussels, Regensburg, Atlanta, Birmingham AL, Strathmore, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Works featured on this tour include Bach’s Toccata in E minor, Beethoven Sonata Op. 27, No. 1, Schubert Piano Sonata D.958, Debussy Preludes, Grieg’s Ballade in G minor and several short pieces by Sibelius.

Learn more about the tour here:

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