“It has always been known that the greatest pianoforte players were also the greatest composers; but how did they play? Not like the pianists of today, who prance up and down the keyboard with passages which they have practised – putsch, putsch, putsch – what does that mean? Nothing! When a true pianoforte virtuoso played it was always something homogeneous, an entity, if written down it would appear as a well thought-out work. That is pianoforte playing; the other thing is nothing!” Beethoven.
Believe it or not, that statement is attributed to The Master, Ludwig van Beethoven, written in an essay by William KInderman in 1814. As Leif Ove Andsnes’ Beethoven project ends, The Guardian’s Tom Service muses on what Beethoven might have thought of Leif Ove Andsnes’ interpretations of his piano music.