An original pairing of composers who were compatriots and friends and who imposed the Romantic Norwegian school on Europe in the years 1872-1900. Grieg's career as a pianist was more modest then Svendsen the violinist's: the latter also outshone him as a conductor. A century later, the audience of the composer of Peer Gynt is universal, whereas Svendsen's oeuvre remains confined to Scandinavian concert halls. This is the first modern recording of his Octet, a youthful score enlivened by its borrowings from folklore.
“their playing is vigorous and expressive. The tone of each instrument has real character, so that in the second-movement Romanza, for example, where the melody is passed around, each phrase has its own colour...[the Svendsen] is an admirably vital, well-integrated account.”
“[The Kocian Quartet's] tonal finesse, refinement of phrasing, sensitivity to the constant play of bittersweet emotion that underpins the work even at its most apparently extrovert, are all exemplary. The recording is both lively and full bodied...What distinguishes the issue, however, is the coupling...it has a freshness and confidence and remarkably assured handling of counterpoint that compel admiration.”
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