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Grieg: Complete Symphonic Works Volume 2
This second volume, in a five-part series of the complete symphonic works with Eivind Aadland and the WDR Sinfonieorchester contains the works for string orchestra: a genre which Grieg mastered like no other, chiefly arrangements of songs and piano pieces. Where the song arrangements of the Elegiac Melodies Op. 34 and the Two Melodies Op. 53 were a form of ‘export edition’ for non-Scandinavian countries (where they were extremely popular, even during Grieg’s lifetime), the famous suite From Holberg’s Time Op. 40 is a homage to Ludvig Holberg, the caustic ‘Molière of the North’, whose 200th birthday was celebrated in Bergen in 1884. For this occasion, Grieg composed a suite ‘in the old style’ on dance forms of the late baroque (Holberg’s own time) without, however, denying his own, romantic style. The late Nordic Melodies Op. 63 were written by the 51-year-old Grieg who was touring internationally as a conductor and who, in the absence of major works, broadened his repertoire with smaller pieces.
“The flavour of this music is in my blood”, says the conductor Eivind Aadland, who grew up in Grieg’s hometown of Bergen and who today is an international artist. Aadland was chief conductor and artistic director of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra from 2003 until 2010 and has also worked with many other Scandinavian, European and international orchestras. He initially studied the violin with Yehudi Menuhin. From 1981 until 1989 he was concert master of the Bergen Philharmonic and from 1987 until 1997 music director of the European Union Chamber Orchestra. He subsequently devoted himself fully to his conducting career and studied with Jorma Panula.
“A happy star reigned over Cologne two autumns ago when violinist-turned maestro Eivind Aadland recorded his cycle of Grieg symphonic works with the city's WDR orchestra...the bite and bounce of the German orchestra's playing is remarkable for its apparent ethnicity...Almost singlehandedly these days [Aadland] continues to make the case for Grieg as serious orchestral writer.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011
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TrondheimSolistene: In Folk Style
2CD Audio Blu-ray + Hybrid SACD
The Trondheim Soloists have always had a close relationship with Norwegian, either through their formative years, studies or work. The “In Folk Style” project was developed over time, with both the Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Two Nordic Melodies having been part of the orchestra’s repertoire from the outset. The Emilia Amper recording features the nyckelharpa, a type of fiddle with a chromatic keyboard, played with a bow, and just like the Hardanger fiddle, has resonating strings.
“The Trondheim Soloists possess great energy and a full-blooded sound, though there is no lack of poetry or beauty...its Rigaudon is quite simply joyous, as are the new orchestral folk suites, Diplom and Abrégé” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 ****
“The players tap into its natural rhythms and momentum no less than you’d hope. “Music is impulsive, sociable and fun,” they seem to be saying – here as much as in the Grieg. That, in part, is what gives this ensemble its unique and delicious accent.” Andrew Mellor, bbc.co.uk, 2nd August 2010
“...the folk theme of the programme is prefaced by assured, richly resonant accounts of Grieg's Holberg Suite...Nothing to frighten the horses, they are slight if undeniably engaging audience-pleasers reminding one how similar Norwegian and Scottish folk music often sounds.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010
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Grieg - Music for String Orchestra
“…the engineering… is exemplary in every way, conveying the warm acoustics of Bergen's Grieg Hall with thrilling presence. …playing so enchantingly musical that occasionally one might have thought Barbirolli was at the helm.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 ****
“Bergen musicians have lived with these scores since their creation and all the performances here, unfussily recorded in the rich, woody acoustic of the city's Grieg Halle in June 2004, have a relaxed, idiomatic naturalness in their virtuosity.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2006
“This is simply the most beautiful recording of Grieg's string music in the catalogue and one of the most beautiful and realistic recordings of strings we have yet heard...The wonderfully vital account of the Holberg Suite is unsurpassed...The surround sound is in a class of its own.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)