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CD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Concerto for Piano

  • Piano Concerto #17 in G Major, K. 453
  • Piano Concerto #20 in D minor, K. 466
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Leif Ove Andsnes
EMI Classics 500281-2 DDD
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Leif Ove Andsnes goes from strength to strength and he is now clearly recognized as one of the finest pianists of these times. It is good that he has turned his attention to the Mozart piano concertos, works so full of astonishing experimentation and replete with the ultimate goal of near perfection.

In the NCO, he finds an instrument which is completely at one with his goals and ambitions as a soloist an also conductor. The G Major work sings with unfettered melodic beauty and in the slow movement, which is particularly expressive, Andsnes is also a model of understatement, yet he manages to penetrate to the heart of the matter with uncanny precision.

I always found the D minor work fascinating in all respects ever since acquiring my first version more than 15 years ago with Uri Segal as pianist. Andsnes rises to exalted levels here, even plumbing the depths of Clifford Curzon's mercurial interpretation on Decca with Benjamin Britten. One really has to listen and sit enraptured to believe what's going on here.

This latest EMI disc includes what is known as the OpenDisc concept where notes, videos and other information is packed into a layer of the CD. Technical gizmos aside and the rather short playing time do nothing to deter from what should surely be one of the outstanding concerto discs of the year.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech