- Audio CD (1 September 2017)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Sony Classical
- Run Time: 65 minutes
- ASIN: B07169MGWH
- Other Editions: Audio CD
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,633 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Leif Ove Andsnes is the winner of the BBC Music Magazine Award for Recording of the Year, 2015. His new album is a personal selection of Jean Sibelius’ unknown yet beautiful piano gems, recorded as part of his mission to present the neglected repertoire of this great Finnish composer.
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Amazon.com: 14 reviews
SUPERB SIBELIUS!19 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
It takes a leap of faith to buy a CD of a composer's piano music, when that composer has been quoted as saying "I do not care for the piano - it is an unsatisfying, ungrateful instrument..." and "the piano does not interest me; it cannot sing" and where some critics have disparaged his piano pieces. But do believe Leif Ove Andsnes and take that leap, you will be rewarded with excellent music, beautifully played. I believed and have found this collection to be atmospheric, lovely and satisfying. In pieces like Barcarola (Track 7), you get the mood of a Sibelius symphony or tone poem. I love the Impromptus in B minor and E Major (Tracks 1 and 2).. I hear similarities to Grieg in The Shepherd (Track 8) and Bjorken (Track 13). Elegiaco (Track 16) is elegant. To me this is further proof that Sibelius has often been unfairly underestimated and dismissed by others (take that Brahms!) and further evidence of another famous Sibelius quote: "Don't pay attention to critics; no one ever built a statute to honor one." I think Sibelius and Andsnes have made the piano sing here.
54 people found this helpful
Surprising Sibelius2 January 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
"Everyone was astonished that there could be a major composer out there with such beautiful accessible music that people don't know. These are intriguing works with the wonderful Sibelius qualities that we know. I really believe in this music and I want people to hear it" (Leif Ove Andsnes) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) supposedly commented offhand once that the piano "doesn't sing". This became a public relations disaster for the composer's varied and often daring works. "I will be the first to admit that Sibelius's piano music is uneven in quality". (Leif Ove Andsnes) For better or for worse the orchestra has long haunted Sibelius's piano music. What should have been his magnum opus for the instrument, the 'Sonata in F', is among the best examples of a composer failing to reconcile the character and mechanism of the instrument with that of his music. It was thought that Sibelius's orchestral brain was fundamentally unsuited for the two hands of the pianist. Though his works for piano do prove that the instrument does indeed sing, even if they just as often show that it can growl, holler, squawk, stutter, hum and whisper as well. For example, the haunting, wistful gait of the 'Valse triste' (1904) is all Sibelius's own while the composer's piano arrangement has proved one instance in which Andsnes has "tried to help him a little", admitting that the writing is "not very pianistic". Indeed, a 1941 letter to Finnish pianist Leea Isotalo from Sibelius suggests that he was happy for accomplished pianists to do so. Despite the radical nature of the music, the sturdy Sibelius remains steady as a rock. "Every note and every gesture has to be weighed individually", writes the musicologist Tomi Makela of Sibelius's piano music. No where does that advice feel more pertinent than in these floating landscapes. (In part, program notes) Enjoy these rare seldom heard special treats!
3 people found this helpful
Beautiful music, most of the selections are seldom heard17 December 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
Beautiful music, most of the selections are seldom heard, by one of the greatest living pianists! The first track, Impromptu in B Minor, is my favorite and Andsnes' performance is mesmerizing. A must have for anyone who loves Sibelius or piano works in general.
17 people found this helpful
A TRIUMPH6 June 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
Any album by Norwegian pianist virtuoso Andsnes is bound to be good. He is a prolific recorder. The list I looked at (in Wikipedia) lists forty-four albums up to 2014. I ‘ve bought at least one other CD dated later that than that and then there’s this one, an album of solo piano music by Sibelius, released in 2017. Sibelius did not promote his piano compositions but they are lovely –twenty-four short pieces, impromptus, a barcarole, a six-minute three movement sonatina, sketches and bagatelles. The longest piece, an impromptu, runs just over six minutes. Many are under two minutes. So this is an album composed completely of short pieces, with many of them no more than sketches of, not fully worked out sound poems. Sibelius is a great lyric, emotive composer. Andsnes is an exquisite pianist, capable of both subtlety and power. I t’s a felicitous combination and another triumph for the pianist.
One person found this helpful
unfamiliar Sibelius--to me13 January 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
Beautifully played by a marvelous pianist. It's alway fun discovering music that is very rarely heard in recital. ?The only piece that I was familiar with was Valse Triste, which is very familiar in the orchestral version. There are even some selections on the disc that are in Major Keys, or at least don't have the usual Minor Key feeling!!! Sibelius with a twinkle of the composer's eye!!
One person found this helpful