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Grieg: Music For String Orchestra (From Holbergs Time/ Lyric Suite) CD


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Product details

  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Composer: Edvard Grieg
  • Audio CD (26 Sep 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005KNODEG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 2 Elegiac Melodies, Op 34
2. 2 Melodies, Op 53
3. From Holbergs Time, Suite in Olden Style, Op 40
4. 2 Lyric Pieces, Op 68
5. 2 Nordic Melodies, Op 63
6. Lyric Suite, Op 54

Product Description

CD Description

Griegs beautiful works for string orchestra often owe their origin to poetic inspiration or to mountain vistas. Some were based on piano originals, including the Holberg Suite, a masterpiece of invention. All of these pieces show Griegs assimilation of Norwegian folk culture and his lyrical mastery, through which he sought to give expression to the hidden harmonies in our folk melodies. Volume 4 in this series (8.570236) was described as containing performances as fine as any in the catalogue. These are gorgeous, perfectly paced and thrillingly recorded. (ClassicsToday.com)

Review

It s difficult to avoid a whole disc of Grieg's music for strings becoming an overdose of Nordic niceness. However, Engeset and the Malmo SO have done so to an impressive extent. Considering too the budget Naxos price, this is purchase-worthy. **** --Classic Fm Magazine,Feb'12

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
This Naxos issue, recorded in 2009 and 2006 under a Norwegian conductor directing a Swedish orchestra, is devoted to arrangements of Grieg's music for string orchestra. Many of his compositions originally written for piano or chamber instruments either ended up arranged for the string section of a symphony orchestra or were written expressly for that; Grieg himself encouraged what we might call the Big Band Sound and often urged a "bigger the better" approach, naming 60 strings as being ideal. So there shouldn't be too much of a purist issue regarding whether music originally composed for the piano "ought" to be arranged in this manner.

Conductor Bjarte Engeset contributes a long and very informative essay in the CD notes.This is Volume 6 in the acclaimed Naxos "Grieg Edition": a compilation of Grieg's finest music for strings, reflecting his love of mountains, folk music, folk tales and all things Norwegian. Although Grieg's own voice is always his own, international influences resulting from his travels to Leipzig, Copenhagen and Rome and his exposure to Wagner's orchestration are clearly apparent. Debussy's oft-quoted aphorism that when listening to the "Lyric Pieces" "one has in one's mouth that bizarre yet delightful taste of pink bon-bons filled with snow" applies far more to this collection in general than to the arrangements of the string quartets. It is often assumed that Debussy's observation carried more than a hint of a sneer about it yet a more generous interpretation could embrace the idea that it conveys the cool, bracing streak in Grieg's music which offsets sentimentality. Certainly there is often a darkness or a melancholy about it which pulls at the heart-strings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Pink bon-bons filled with snow" - yes - but more than that 16 April 2012
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This Naxos issue, recorded in 2009 and 2006 under a Norwegian conductor directing a Swedish orchestra, is devoted to arrangements of Grieg's music for string orchestra. Many of his compositions originally written for piano or chamber instruments either ended up arranged for the string section of a symphony orchestra or were written expressly for that; Grieg himself encouraged what we might call the Big Band Sound and often urged a "bigger the better" approach, naming 60 strings as being ideal. So there shouldn't be too much of a purist issue regarding whether music originally composed for the piano "ought" to be arranged in this manner.

Conductor Bjarte Engeset contributes a long and very informative essay in the CD notes.This is Volume 6 in the acclaimed Naxos "Grieg Edition": a compilation of Grieg's finest music for strings, reflecting his love of mountains, folk music, folk tales and all things Norwegian. Although Grieg's own voice is always his own, international influences resulting from his travels to Leipzig, Copenhagen and Rome and his exposure to Wagner's orchestration are clearly apparent. Debussy's oft-quoted aphorism that when listening to the "Lyric Pieces" "one has in one's mouth that bizarre yet delightful taste of pink bon-bons filled with snow" applies far more to this collection in general than to the arrangements of the string quartets. It is often assumed that Debussy's observation carried more than a hint of a sneer about it yet a more generous interpretation could embrace the idea that it conveys the cool, bracing streak in Grieg's music which offsets sentimentality. Certainly there is often a darkness or a melancholy about it which pulls at the heart-strings. The two concluding movements of the "Holberg Suite" are typical of the profound, elegiac quality Grieg can evoke through the simplest of means such as the dialogue between the upper and lower strings in the "Air" or the duet between solo violin and solo viola in the "Rigaudon", both exploiting the pathos of G minor. The words "lyric" and "elegy" are by no means antithetical in Grieg. The profound loneliness of a distant, keening oboe which begins "Evening in the Mountains" has something of the quality of the shepherd's cor anglais in the opening of "Tristan und Isolde". Grieg wrote in a letter to his biographer that the "essential feature of Norwegian folksongs...is a deep melancholy...mysterious darkness and unbridled wildness", qualities typified in the impassioned performance here of "In Folk Style", the first of the "Two Nordic melodies". Yet when Grieg is in pure pastoral mode, such as in the simple, beguiling melody of "Cow-Call", nothing could be more charming and insouciant.

The standard of playing is very high throughout. I prefer a little more pace and attack in the Prelude of the "Holberg Suite" but by and large everything - instrumental balance, phrasing, tempi and colouration - is judged to a nicety.

The sound quality, too, is exemplary; these days, especially where Naxos is concerned, it is rare for it to be otherwise. Even though it features mainly miniatures and music specifically orchestrated to fall pleasantly in the ear, this release amply illustrates the combination of rare and contradictory qualities which make Grieg Norway's greatest composer.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
GOOD MUSIC BUT THE SOUND IS NOT TOP! 29 Feb 2012
By jefco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Guidé par la critique de Classicstoday.com, je me suis précipité sur ce CD. Cette musique est très séduisante et d'un abord facile. L'interprétation du Malmö Orchestra fait plutôt dans l'élégance et traduit bien les sentiments de nostalgie véhiculés par ces pages symphoniques. La prise de son, louée également par Classicstoday ne mérite toutefois pas les 10/10 attribués par la dite revue! La captation privilégie les aigus, avec une certaine lacune en matière de raffinement (métallisation des timbres). Le manque de rondeur et de présence des contrebasses est, hélas, assez flagrant. Si vous doutez que le format CD est capable d'un meilleur rendu, je vous suggère d'écouter par exemple la 4ème symphonie de Mahler par Ivan Fischer (Channel Classics) et vous verrez que le CD audio a encore un bel avenir en matière de qualité de restitution. Cela met en lumière le fait que Naxos a encore du chemin à faire sur le plan technique. Un CD recommandable toutefois ... pour la musique!
Grieg: The Holberg Suite 8 Mar 2014
By Toby Hoffman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful music by Grieg. Engeset certainly adopts excellently judged tempos, and the phrasing and articulation are nicely
executed. Of the several recordings I own of "The Holberg Suite", this Naxos production is easily the best.

Strongly recommended
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