Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Anderszewski/Beethoven. Fortepiano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. Opus 15 [37:49]. Six Bagatelles, Opus 126 [20:21]

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Anderszewski/Beethoven. Fortepiano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. Opus 15 [37:49]. Six Bagatelles, Opus 126 [20:21]

Article excerpt

"Anderszewski/Beethoven." Fortepiano Concerto No. 1 in C Major. Opus 1 5 [37:49], Six Bagatelles, Opus 1 26 [20:2 1 ]. Piotr Anderszewski, unidentified modern piano; Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen conducted by Piotr Anderszewski. Recorded 5-9 October 2007 in Bremen. ©2008. Virgin Classics 50999 5 021 ? 2 8. $17.40. Rating:***

Piotr Anderszewski's name will be familiar to many readers of this journal because of his exceptional recordings of the "Diabelli" Variations (including one on DVD) and the Sonata in C Minor/Major, Opus 110 (including a live performance at Carnegie Hall). Born in Warsaw in 1969, he enjoys a major international career and has been the subject of a fascinating documentary DVD by Bruno Monsaingeon. His extensive discography also includes seven Bach suites, four Mozart concertos, and major works by Chopin, Schumann, Webern, Janáeek, and Szymanowski.

I have vivid memories of his performance of Beethoven's First Concerto in Milan in July 2007, four months before the present recording. On that occasion he played with a winning combination of spontaneity, color, and fine attention to details of touch, expression, and balance (conducting, as here, from the keyboard). His playing was free of visual and aural eccentricities, but his concentration was intense during every moment and his communication with the audience was complete. That performance reinforced my opinion of his two recordings of die Sonata in ?-flat Major, Opus 1 10, which I would rank among the finest accounts on a modern piano.

This recording of the concerto captures many of the qualities that I heard in the Milan performance, although the tempos of the outer movements are perhaps slightly more cautious. But the playing brings out much of die dynamism as well as the playfulness of the score, and always with a knowing sense of classical style. He is disappointing mostly in the underplayed first-movement cadenza (die longest of Beethoven's three, composed later tiian die concerto), where die need to break away from the earlier style doesn't fully reflect die composer's stylistic change. …

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