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It is interesting to compare his approach with that of Kovacevich on Phillips Classical 422 969-2. Kovacevich presents the listener with a cohesive musical entity beautifully executed and some nine minutes faster than Anderszewski. This variation of tempi between two players is very apparent and makes for considerable differences in interpretation. Listen to Anderszewski play the opening of the first Variation marked Alla Marcia maestoso [track 2, 0:00-0:53]. Defined by a very deliberate and heavy accentuation, Anderszewski takes 1' 49" as opposed to Kovacevich's 1' 33". Throughout Anderszewski offers more sharply defined contrasts of tone and he is more capricious with the tempo. Nevertheless, with his phenomenal technique he gives us inspired playing and discovers elements in the music that others don't reach. His magnificent control and interplay between the hands is a delight [listen -- track 7, 0:00-0:58]. And I have to say that when Beethoven is at his greatest it is Anderszewski that really gets inside the composer's head [listen -- track 15, 3:13-4:20].

There is much to be said for Anderszewski's performance. It challenges, it might exasperate, it is never dull, and it offers some sublime moments.

The recording was made during the production of the film Piotr Anderszewski plays the Diabelli Variations directed by Bruno Monsaingeon. I await the outcome with great interest.

Copyright © 21 July 2001 Shirley Ratcliffe, Norfolk, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - VIRGIN 5 45468 2

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