Ingrid Andsnes makes her solo CD debut with the most demanding work in the piano literature, music that has become synonymous with the struggle and transformation in her own life. November 2nd 2015 she plays the Diabelli Variations in concert once again, this time releasing her recording in Carnegie Hall, NYC.
“My life got the prefect soundtrack”
Ingrid’s first encounter with the Diabelli Variations as a performer came directly after a very challenging period of illness: “I believe I had the Diabelli Variations ‘thrown at me’ because I needed exactly that music at exactly that time. I needed to play music that demanded so much power, strength, perseverance, endless dives into the music, with great technical challenges. Music that really push the envelope, beyond where you think it must end. I had to feel the passion, the great deep emotions, the vulnerability, and most important: the power. Reclaiming the control of unused muscles, strength and love. You could say that my life got the perfect soundtrack.”
Diabelli Variations: 33 + 1?
The publisher and ‘composer’ Anton Diabelli invited the composers of 1819 Vienna to write a variation on his own little waltz. Beethoven turned the proposition down, only to reconsider and write not 1 variation, but 33! In 2015 Ingrid Andsnes invited composer and curator Lars Petter Hagen to add a cadenza to Beethoven’s set of variations. Employing EBows on the string of the piano, this cadenza replacing the short Poco Adagio before variation no. 33 in the present recording. Hagen says about the project: ‘I was very happy and at the same time terrified when Ingrid asked me to write a new variation that would be performed together with Beethoven’s. It was obvious from the start that I was going to fail, and that is why I admire Ingrid’s courage. To make art you really need to believe in the impossible and to expose yourself to weakness and the possibility of failure. No-one said it better than Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”’
Ingrid Andsnes (1978 Karmøy, Norway) is a highly accomplished pianist and one of Norway’s most endearingly passionate musicians. Her love for music is just as inspiring as her joy in performing is striking. She has studied with Professor Joan Havill at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and, like her brother Leif Ove, with Professor Jiri Hlinka at Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. In collaboration with the finest of Norway’s musicians, including Solveig Kringelborn, Arve Tellefsen, Håvard Gimse and The Norwegian Soloist Choir, Ingrid Andsnes has given a remarkable contribution to concert life both nationally and internationally.