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Royal Festival Hall, London - Financial Times
Tuesday 16 June 2009

[Anderszewski's] recital on Tuesday was typically made up of music for which he has formed the deepest connections. An announcement asked the audience not to applaud after the opening work, Schumann's rarely heard Gesänge der Frühe. This was the last of Schumann's piano works, completed only days before a suicide attempt, and it seems Anderszewski responds to what it represents as much as to the music itself. The piece feels like a tortured attempt to reclaim earlier romantic inspiration - hard work (and not only for the pianist).

In everything he plays Anderszewski searches for the meaning beneath the notes. Bach's Partita No.6 has long been a favourite - his recording, made shortly after he came to international notice, remains a high recommendation  and Anderszewski seems to enter a different chamber of the mind for each movement, whether the still contemplation of the Sarabande or the leaping optimism of the final Gigue. In Janácek's In the Mists he found endlessly fascinating shifts of colour and focus, as the music moves in and out of the light.

The final work in Tuesday's programme was Beethoven's Sonata in A Flat, Op.110. This is music that he has returned to regularly, most recently in a live recording from Carnegie Hall, and it is easy to see why. The pensive songfulness of the opening movement is natural Anderszewski territory and, as the last movement ventures ever deeper into uncharted intellectual waters, he is the pianist explorer one wants to have as a guide. In all, an evening that was worth the long walk home.

Photo: © Robert Workman/Virgin Classics 2007
Source: Financial Times


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