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CD Review

Edvard Grieg

  • Homage March from Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op. 56 #3 1
  • Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 1
  • Lyric Suite, Op. 54 1
  • Symphonic Dances, Op. 64 3
  • Overture "In Autumn", Op. 11 2
  • Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34 4
  • Suite "From Holberg's Time", Op. 40 4
  • Old Norwegian Romance with Variations, Op. 51 3
  • Lyric Pieces for Piano from Op. 12 and Op. 38 *
* Daniel Adni, piano
1 Hallé Orchestra/John Barbirolli
2 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham
3 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Berglund
4 Northern Sinfonia/Paul Tortelier
EMI Gemini 586513-2 148m ADD/DDD
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This well filled Gemini compilation brings together an admirable Grieg compendium that should prove ideal both for the first time buyer and the seasoned enthusiast.

Pride of place should definitely go to Beecham's magnificent rendition of 'In Autumn', one of the classics of the gramophone with the RPO on top form throughout. I also enjoyed the swaggering Homage March from 'Sigurd Jorsalfar' and the lovely Norwegian Dances under the expert hands of Sir John Barbirolli; these are truly legendary Grieg recordings on all counts.

Paavo Berglund's swiftly conceived interpretations of the Symphonic Dances and the Old Norwegian Romance with Variations may not be to all tastes but the excellent sound from Bournemouth makes them pretty desirable too. Paul Tortelier brings panache and finesse to the pensive Elegiac Melodies and the classic 'Holberg Suite'. Finally we have Daniel Adni giving us some of the evergreen Lyric Pieces on the piano to round off a superb compilation that should be on every Grieg lover's shopping list – if you don't already have them, that is.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech