Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes
Crystal-clear articulation, subtlety of expression, and emotional restraint mark Leif Ove Andsnes’ Chopin. His playing shepherds the composer’s music back to the salon for which it was originally composed. That’s not to say his performances lack fire—quite the opposite, as you’ll hear from the stormy Ballade No. 3. But it’s the way that Ballade No. 1 builds from its hushed beginnings through its overwhelming climaxes—this is where Andsnes proves his mettle as a true musical poet. With that in mind, the Nocturnes here emerge prayerful, yearning, passionate even. But it’s all under control: never too much, always leaving us wanting.