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MUSIC AND DANCE REVIEWS

Andsnes Displays His Pianistic Promise

May 12, 1997|DANIEL CARIAGA

At 27, the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who made a recital debut in UCLA's Schoenberg Hall Auditorium on Friday night, shows fine pianistic accomplishment and considerable musical promise--the same qualities he has demonstrated in his visits here as soloist with orchestra.

Solo recitals make greater demands than concerto appearances, however, and Andsnes' astute and novel program, encompassing works by Beethoven, Dvorak and Frank Martin, did not prove entirely engaging.

The unusual repertory titillated; Beethoven's Opus 22, Opus 77 and Opus 81a indicated rapport with the composer. But there was little of that stylistic intimacy and strength of bonding that may come later in the young pianist's development.

On an instrument that too often sounded strident, Andsnes produced a limited palette of gruff louds and beguiling softs without bringing in many more of the hues the keyboard can offer. Interpretively, this player has not discovered the kaleidoscopic range to be found in all the repertory.

Martin's complex Fantasy on Flamenco Rhythms charmed, as far as it went, but the listener had to suspect that the piece contains many more details and moods than were emerging. Five excerpts from Dvorak's Poetic Tone Pictures, Opus 85, also became colorful but incomplete.

Two Beethoven sonatas, the B-flat of Opus 22 and "Les Adieux," Opus 81a, plus the quirky Fantasy, Opus 77, found the pianist again in strong control of surfaces without truly digging into the actual depths of the music.

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