Edvard Grieg – Complete Music with Orchestra
Soloists: Barbara Bonney, Randi Stene, Randi Stene, Anne Gjevang, Håkan Hagegård, Urban Malmberg Kjell Magnus Sandve, Håkan Hagegård, Rut Tellefsen
Lylia Zilberstein, piano
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Chorus master: Mats Nilsson
Gösta Ohlin’s Vocal Ensemble
Pro Musica Chamber Choir
Chorus master: Gösta Ohlin
Neeme Järvi, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon, 2002
The six CDs of this box set summarize the musical career of the most famous Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. All the works are conducted by Neeme Järvi.
This conductor, who is Grieg’s fine and sensitive interpreter, is remarkable for the melancholic elegy of the famous Piano Concerto, op. 16, here performed by the excellent pianist Lilya Zilberstein; for the Nordic charm and mystery of the Four Norwegian Dances, op. 35, and of the Symphonic Dances, op. 64; and the wonderful music of the Lyric Suite, with its sounds that I would like to define “glass sounds”. A particularly attentive work was done for a youthful composition, the Symphony in C minor, almost unknown and worth of more consideration.
As to the music from the unfinished opera Olav Trygvason and the incidental music for Sigurd Jorsalfar and Peer Gynt, it seems to me that the result is excellent and one name in particular is a guarantee: Barbara Bonney. If I may express a preference, I think that the best result is achieved in the first work I mentioned, Olav Trygvason, whose music is exciting, to the point that there is to be regretted that the project has not been concluded. Finally, I like to remember the Old Norwegian Romance, op. 51, which testifies Grieg’s interest in the folklore of his country, which is very little known outside of it.