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on 15 March 2010
You might call them the heavenly twins among piano concertos: not surprisingly, they have been coupled together on disc many times over. It says much for Andsnes' version that it rivals the versions by Kovacevich and Perahia, combining as they do spontaneity and concentration, dedication and poetry. Indee, it was the Grieg Concerto that first made the name of Leif Ove Andsnes on disc in 1990.
The interpretation remains broadly the same, except that speeds have become rather brisker.
However many times he has performed the Grieg, Andsnes retains a freshness and expressiveness that never sounds contrived, always spontaneous. He is firmly supported by Jansons and the Berlin Philharmonic, with playing not just refined but dramatic too in fiercely exciting tants. Schumann's cello melodies are gloriously warm, with textures in both works admirably clear, and Andsnes fully responds to Schumann's espressivo and ritardando requests.
Though both Stephen Kovacevich -- in a 1971 Philips recording which still sounds full-bodied and clear -- and Murray Perahia are equally spontaneous, they tend not to be quite so free in their expressive flights; EMI's finely balanced digital sound and the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic are also in this version's favour. Andsnes also offers slightly faster basic speeds than his rivals; I particularly like the free-flowing tempo for the central Andantino grazioso of the Schumann, which one would never mistake for a simple Andante. In his many recordings for EMI Andsnes tended to avoid big warhorse works: this splendid new issue established his supremcy in the field.
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on 8 September 2010
The chances of finding these two concertos paired on a single disc are about the same as those of Simon Bates playing Beethoven's 'Pastoral' symphony - extremely high. It's a useful analogy because, if you didn't know, one could be readily convinced that these two piano concertos are Beethoven's sixth and seventh. Whatever, in the unlikely event that you tire of the five Beethoven concertos these two will easily delight in the same way - full of verve, appropriately tempered with moments of delicacy, together with great tunes that unfold in a natural and intelligent manner. It is also good and apt, given the Classical rather than Romantic leanings of these concertos, that Leif Ove Andsnes, with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Mariss Jansons, goes for a fairly light, classical piano tone rather than the somewhat more strident, hard on the ears tone adopted for quite a lot of piano music from the Romantic period. It's unlikely that you will find better perormances than those presented here. Definitely a purchase that will not disappoint you.
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on 23 May 2011
Leif Ove Andsnes is in great form on this double Concerto CD. Having seen a documentary in which he played the Grieg Concerto on Edvard Griegs original piano, I felt sure this cd would be good. Indeed it is with the performance of both the Grieg and the Schumann of the highest standard. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 14 January 2013
Very fine piano playing. I came across this pianist by chance and I am so glad. Lief deserves support. Lief can stand proud among the greats.
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on 6 September 2014
I have long loved the Grieg piano concerto and was hoping this would be an interpretation to my taste. I was absolutely mesmerised by this pianist ad his playing, despite never having heard his name before. It is the most sensitive, beautifully crafted piece of piano art I have ever heard. I feel so fortunate to have this particular recording as I have heard many dreadful ones. If you love Grieg, you will be enchanted by this production. I have played it at least a dozen times already and it gets better and better.
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on 9 July 2013
This is one of my favorite pieces of music which I will never get tied of listening too. Just great
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on 6 April 2013
Lovely listening. Great to hear the whole pc instead of bits. Haven't listened to the Schuman yet but I'm sure it will be as good as the Greig.
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on 8 July 2014
One of my most favurite peices of music well worth listening to
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on 26 November 2015
Mom really happy she can listen to her fave music
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on 13 March 2015
Gift for my son and hia wife - they love it
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