Concerto: A Beethoven Journey | Chicago Reader

Concerto: A Beethoven Journey

92 minutes 2015

In this pleasant but lukewarm documentary, celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes chronicles his "Beethoven journey" of recording and performing in concert the composer's five concertos, accompanied by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Andsnes states early in the film that the Beethoven project was about searching for his own interpretation of the pieces as much as understanding the man who wrote them, which means that the backstories of the pianist and the composer complement each other. Director Phil Grabsky (In Search of Mozart, In Search of Chopin, et al) brings to the documentary a modest, academic tone and correspondingly dry visuals, yet watching Andsnes both play and feel his hero's compositions evokes the kind of thrill any artist, but especially a Beethoven buff, will likely recognize and appreciate.

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