sun 18/08/2019

The Risør Festival at the Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

The Risør Festival at the Wigmore Hall

The Risør Festival at the Wigmore Hall

Pianists Andsnes and Hamelin go ballistic in the Rite of Spring

Risør, Norway, home to an impressive and not so little music festival
A hell of a lot of talent was on display last night at the Wigmore Hall, where pianist Leif Ove Andsnes's home festival of Risør was stationed for the weekend. The big draw was a performance of The Rite of Spring for two pianos. The work is violent enough in orchestral form but when jammed onto two keyboards it has the potential to degenerate into the most unimaginably demented hand-to-hand combat you'll ever see. Last night's performance - Andsnes facing off against a man that gets pianophiles like me pant-wettingly excited, Marc-André Hamelin - was little short of psychopathic.
Efficiency and brutality was the name of this game. And it was mesmerising

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