Leif Ove Andsnes plays Sibelius and more at the Royal Festival Hall
Leif Ove Andsnes presented a very demanding programme at the Royal Festival Hall. I found it perfect and not at all the typical thing a pianist takes on tour. It included: * Sibelius small pieces from his last album that is rocking, to fill the promotion/present bits * Jörg Widmann music, to fill the contemporary bits * Schubert not so popular pieces, to bring light into a well known composer * a Beethoven sonata, the big repertoire quota * Chopin works, as final beauty treat
Ove Andsnes presence on stage is elegant (not the typical boring suit at all) and very focused. He attacked Sibelius notes as soon as he sat down and dazzled all of us. What a beautiful music that deserves to be listened much more often!
For the Jörg Widmann pieces Idyll & Abgrund (6 Schubert Reminiscences) he used score (and glasses) for the only time during the night. He was also turning the pages and that created the only technical problems on the night when the music was delayed by it. But nothing serious. Playing was fine and works were very interesting (is Widmann the new cool mainstream classical music composer?).
The Drei Klavierstücke D. 946 are like the small brothers of the Four Impromptus sets: not so popular and incomplete (in the sense that Schubert intender to compose four of them). But still very amazing music. Andsnes played them with clear articulation while keeping a nice legato playing that resulted on a very emotional performance.
After the intermission time for the big B and his Tempest sonata. I love how a very romantic performance of this work, full of pathos, can keep a crystal clear transparency. Amazing balance.
Concert ended with Chopin works (and encore), a total surrendering to emotions in a proper way.