The Beethoven Journey: Piano Concertos

No. 2 and 4

Performed by Leif Over

Andsnes with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

[Sony Classical]


I could do without Leif Over Andsnes uncompromisingly dour demeanor. It gives this album a cheerless feel. Two different photos show his frowning face, and a few more show overcast skies. But I do like Andsnes’ robust playing, and it goes well with this robust music.

I want to describe Andsnes’ tone as “trumpet style,” like Earl Hines’ jazz piano. The notes are clear and assertive – much more percussive, at times, than other pianists. You hear all the lines and patterns in the concluding Rondos of both these marvelous concertos. The slow movements are sincere and straightforward. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra also has a good energy, and the sound is crisp and clear.

– Mary Kunz Goldman