Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chopin and Andsnes - The Greatness to Come...

Of the sonatas written by Chopin, his first is the least known.
The principal reason is logical - he was just seventeen when he began writing it, and the Chopin the world has known since 1849 was yet to be formed.
However, even though the formalism and barriers of his formative years are in evidence, the luminescence and wonderfully conditioned boundlessness germane to the Chopin we know begin to appear, especially in the mid-section of this sonata. What wonders this genius gives to the future are already beginning to appear. Listen closely, and I'm sure that you will agree.
As a parallel to the composer, I offer to you a recording of this first sonata by the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.
Here is a young pianist, about twenty two at the time of this recording, performing the young composer with a kind of eclectic response one would expect of a great musician palpably older.
Andnes immediately is at the core of the message which defies any intelligent description that may be attempted by any learned listener.
To encapsulate: both the composer and the performer do rather precisely the same thing - they give us a picture of the future at a remarkably early time in their lives.
Chopin shares with us a portrait that is being painted; to be completed years later, when the promise is consummated a couple of decades down the line.
Andsnes does precisely the same thing, and a couple of decades later, this great musician, now in his early forties, is considered by many to be the Prince of the eminent pianists of our day.
Both Composer and Performer promised the world a language which enhances our existence -
and both have fulfilled the Promise.
By the way, Andsnes also recorded the other two piano sonatas of Chopin in this album. I cannot imagine any musician at age 22 giving us greater insight than that which we hear in these works.

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