Leif Ove Andsnes


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The piano music of Jean Sibelius would, for the most part, be classified as rare; the prevailing critical opinion has been that, in the words of critic Tim Page, "most of his piano music might have been churned out by a second-rate salon composer from the 19th century on an off afternoon." Leif Ove Andsnes has set out to excavate it, and lo, it turns out that it just awaited convincing performances. There are indeed some pieces of the salon sort here, but none is less than well-made, and there is just one arrangement of a non-pianistic work. The three larger works all bear traces of the world of Sibelius' orchestral masterpieces, in miniature scale, but full of the same musical ideas. The three-movement Kyllikki, Op. 41, is in Sibelius' epic mode, although compact at about 11 minutes. Sample the finale of the Piano Sonatina No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 67, No. 1, with its structural use of texture recapitulating in brief one of the lessons of the later symphonies. Most fascinating of all are the Five Esquisses, Op. 114, completed in 1929 and among the last original music Sibelius composed. These are entirely innovative in structure and in their use of tonality (although not atonal, they make use of such devices as interlocking scales), and they may well have been related to ideas Sibelius was developing in his uncompleted and subsequently destroyed eighth symphony. Andsnes' precise, perfectly controlled, yet vigorous readings bring out the composer's thinking perfectly. Essential for those who think they know the Sibelius masterpieces.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Impromptus, Op. 5
1 03:51 Amazon
2 06:14 Amazon
Kyllikki Op. 41 - 3 Lyric Pieces
3 03:10 Amazon
4 04:22 Amazon
5 02:55 Amazon
Pieces, Op. 24
6 03:57 Amazon
7 04:29 Amazon
Pieces, Op. 58
8 02:27 Amazon
9 05:13 Amazon
Sonatina No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor Op. 67/1
10 02:54 Amazon
11 02:11 Amazon
12 01:47 Amazon
Pieces, Op. 75
13 01:37 Amazon
14 02:55 Amazon
Rondinos, Op. 68
15 01:51 Amazon
Pieces, Op. 76
16 01:37 Amazon
6 Bagatelles Op. 97
17 01:36 Amazon
18 01:07 Amazon
19 02:58 Amazon
5 Esquisses Op. 114
20 01:48 Amazon
21 01:48 Amazon
22 01:39 Amazon
23 01:48 Amazon
24 02:05 Amazon
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