Music review: Christian Tetzlaff & Leif Ove Andsnes

Edinburgh International Festival: Some of the world's greatest performers are simply in a class of their own. Unquestionably part of this elite are violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.

Queen’s Hall


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Not that their recital at the Queen’s Hall yesterday had anything to do with elitism. Rather, their truly collaborative musical language was one which spoke with direct humanity to connect with the audience on a seldom experienced, deep, emotional level.

Janáček’s Violin Sonata was immediate testament to their artistry as consummate musicians who were in complete accord in their approach to its expansive melodies, so often redolent of the same composer’s operas. Totally compelling, the melancholy colouring of the Adagio stunned the auditorium to silence as it brought the piece to its close. More cheerful were three Danses champêtres by Sibelius which, like Mozart’s G major Violin Sonata, dispelled any notion that Andsnes might have been labelled piano accompanist.

His meaty solo introduction paved the way for Tetzlaff bringing grit along with grace, elegance and pure finesse to Mozart’s hurriedly written masterpiece. Not even a broken string, necessitating a quick off-stage change, could detract from the intensity and virtuosic energy of Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata in the second half.