Leif Ove Andsnes

Shadows of Silence

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Shadows of Silence by Leif Ove Andsnes is a sensually beautiful recording of contemporary piano music mixing solo and concerted works. Andsnes' superb program illuminates what might be called the post-Impressionist strain of post-Modernist music. The two big works here, Witold Lutoslawski and Marc-André Dalbavie's virtuosic and visionary piano concertos, alternate with three luminously poetic solo pieces: Bent Sørensen's Lullabies and Shadows of Silence at either end of the disc with selections from György Kurtág's Games in the center. As he has for composers from Grieg to Janácek, Andsnes consistently delivers brilliantly conceived, powerfully executed performances, deploying his nuanced tone, and formidable technique to make the case for every work here both separately and together, that is, with each piece satisfying in itself while at the same time creating a larger aesthetic whole out of the dramatic sequence. Franz Welser-Möst elicits eloquent accompaniments from the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and EMI provides crisp, deep, and uncannily immediate sound. Though not for listeners who believe music history ended in 1911, anyone interested in contemporary music should by all means try this disc.

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