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Schumann: Klaviersonate No 1, Fantasie / Leif Ove Andsnes

Release Date: 09/10/2002 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 56414   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc was nominated for the 1998 Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)."

Schumann was a mere 25 when writing his First Piano Sonata – as the Norwegian, Leif Ove Andsnes (only a couple of years older himself) never lets us forget. His recording is one of the most refreshing I’ve ever heard in its youthful lightness of heart. Not for a moment are you aware of the strain for this composer, by nature still then a miniaturist, in meeting the Procrustean demands of sonata form. With fastish tempo and delectably light, scintillating fingerwork he dances through the first movement’s sometimes all-too-persistent fandango rhythm, and though adopting an unspecified slower tempo for the
Read more smoother second subject maintains an unbroken continuity of flow from first note to last. The Aria sings with a spring-like wonderment and grace. And even if the tongue-in-cheek pomposity at the start of the “Intermezzo” section is not fully relished, his lightness and clarity of texture and his rhythmic buoyancy win the day in the Scherzo, and yet again in the finale, which in heavier hands can so easily sound protracted.

The Fantasie, completed just three years later, comes across with arrestingly impulsive immediacy. Andsnes’s extreme contrasts of urgency and poetic musing in the first movement might be thought over-episodic, but the requested fantasy and passion are all there. The central movement is brilliantly excitable even if lacking an essential underlying rhythmic stability. And his acute response to every passing innuendo makes the finale a truly moving human confession – albeit in a different world from Pollini’s trance-like, superhuman inner calm. Apart from brief loss of refinement in the Fantasie’s moments of heightened fervour, the tone-quality of the recording matches the distinction of the playing.

-- Joan Chissell, The Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1835; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/1996 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 33 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Phantasie for Piano in C major, Op. 17 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836-1838; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol 
Length: 30 Minutes 10 Secs. 

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