Piotr Andrewszewski is relatively an unknown name on this board. Here is an article of this rising pianistic star:

Chicago Sun Times


"Polish pianist puts Beethoven on hold but makes best of rest"

March 30, 2004

BY WYNNE DELACOMA Classical Music Critic


When early announcements came out last year for Polish-born pianist Piotr Anderszewski's solo recital at Symphony Center on Sunday, his program was slated to include two Beethoven sonatas. In a later program update, Beethoven had vanished, replaced by works of Bach and Anderszewski's countryman Karol Szymanowski.

Sunday afternoon's audience faced yet another changed program. The concert opened with Bach's B Minor Overture in the French Style, No. BWV 831, and Szymanowski's "Metopes,'' Op. 29. After intermission, however, it was all-Chopin, including the Three Mazurkas Op. 63, and the Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58.

Some ticket buyers, their hearts set on Beethoven, were not happy. But artists' moods shift, and concert programs are planned months, even years in advance. Anderszewski is evidently not willing to stick to a program that once seemed like a good idea but appealed to him less as performance time approached.

The Beethoven was doubtless a loss. Anderszewski made his Chicago debut in 2001 at Mandel Hall with an unforgettable performance of Beethoven's "Diabelli'' Variations, a daunting work that had become his signature piece. He played Bach, Szymanowski and Chopin last year at Symphony Center. Something different would have been appealing this season.

That said, there was little reason to feel shortchanged once Anderszewski started playing. He is a pianist of such strong ideas expressed with such tonal richness and offhand virtuosity that he rarely fails to make a persuasive case for whatever composer he is playing.

Anderszewski makes absolutely no apologies for playing works that Bach wrote for harpsichord on a big, sonorous modern grand piano. The French Overture -- like the composer's suites or partitas, a collection of several dance-inspired movements -- was as cleanly chiseled as letters in granite. The ornaments in the opening section were appropriately fitful and flighty, but the theme they embellished and its supporting chords were firmly grounded. The more relaxed saraband, however, was blatantly seductive. Letting the melodies unfold at a steady, constant pace, Anderszewski sent them drifting into the air like heavy perfume. Pearly and dulcet, this leisurely siren song was courtly, refined and irresistible.

Anderszewski unleashed the sirens of Greek myth in Szymanowski's "Metopes,'' three impressionist pieces inspired by the decorative panels on ancient Greek temples. Szymanowski's vision of Odysseus' water-borne adventures were vivid in Anderszewski's quietly shimmering, constantly roiling open chords and arpeggios. But the pieces became predictable, each gradually rising from bare whispers to stormy, cascading chords before sinking back again to sparse, distant echoes.

The Chopin portion of the program summed up the best of the concert's opening half. The three Op. 63 mazurkas, not among Chopin's most famous, were vividly shaped without becoming garish or distorted. So it was with the B Minor Piano Sonata. The sudden, tumbling line of its opening bars can slash like a scythe, but Anderszewski emphasized something more opulent. This was a poetic yet clear-eyed performance. In the final movement's virtuoso fireworks, Anderszewski's technical perfection was luxuriously sinful.

His encore, a Bach saraband, was much more chaste but equally exciting.

CONCERT REVIEW

PIOTR ANDERSZEWSKI

AT SYMPHONY CENTER