Nowadays the market is so crowded with the Beethoven piano concertos that, without ample justification, new recordings daren’t just promote themselves. It’s not difficult to imagine one critic after another saying “is another recording really necessary?” because great recordings of the past, so abundant, remain towering. So Andsnes wrote this manifesto about Beethoven’s music and its relationship to humanity. Hardly anything new, of course, but that’s what the market deems necessary for proving the artists actually does care about what he is playing, and after all seeing another major artist delving into these timeless works seems to promise new insights.
In fact, Andsnes’s promise is enormous: apart from recording all Beethoven concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (a recording series on Sony named “The Beethoven Journey”), the pianist stated that his concerto performances within three or four years will be restricted only to Beethoven. One could only imagine, not having recorded any of Beethoven’s work in the past, how his devotion to this music flowered all in a sudden.