As a declared fan of Alfred Brendel, I must admit that I can hardly accept any other pianist in the vicinity of his special artistry and musical efficiency when t comes to classical Viennese repertory. Rare are those who can scale with as much grace and inspiration (as Brendels') the whole gamut of moods - from witty elegance and melodious serenity to humorous accents and irony - that Joseph Haydn unfolded in his piano sonatas.
Notwithstanding the Norwegian virtuoso Leif Ove Andsnes comes close to my exigencies in Haydn by means of his recording under consideration here comprising no less than five sonatas. Each of them is shaped differently, with special care for both its meaningful and lyrical sides, for drawing its character in proper colors. Lei Ove exhibits an unexpected light of touch while the playful dimension shimmers throughout with joy and vivacity.
All in all it is a refined rendition testifying a profound approach to classical treasure in music. It is favored the essence of the music interpreted rather than its sparkling effect, the quiet thought rather than glamorous display. Much younger than Brendel, Andsnes confirms thus his robust gifts for an intelligent music-making and promises to become in a near future a competitor on equal footing with his legendary colleague for the supremacy in the Viennese repertory.