- Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
- Composer: Edvard Grieg
- Audio CD (4 Nov. 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Naxos
- ASIN: B00FAY7GBC
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,889 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Grieg: Olav Trygvason [Magne Fremmerlid, Nina Gravrok, Marianne E. Andersen] [Naxos: 8573045]
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Edvard Grieg and his librettist Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson were both fascinated by a great period in Norway's past: the Viking Age, whose sagas, and fierce conflicts between Christianity and the old Norse religion, inspired all three of Grieg's works recorded here. Landkjenning depicts the moment when Olav Trygvason (960s-1000) and his men sight the Norwegian coast for the first time on their voyage from England to Norway. As King from 995 to 1000, Olav worked singlemindedly to Christianise Norway. Conceived as a true Norwegian national opera, but left unfinished, the three scenes from Olav Trygvason explore pagan rituals and tributes to the Norse gods in anticipation of King Olav's entrance into the pagan temple.
'Naxos have done Grieg proud over the years, producing many discs which have considerably extended our knowledge of a composer whose range of expression was wider than is sometimes allowed. This is a valuable addition to that collection.' --MusicWeb International
'The choral singing is excellent.' --The Guardian, 09/01/2014
'Vigorous, colourful choral singing and splendid orchestral colour.' --BBC Music Magazine, March 2014
'I enjoyed this current disc hugely. Indeed I would go as far as saying this current version of Landkjenning has gone to the top of my list...The disc is marked by consistently fine engineering a perfect blend of presence, detail and power. Engeset's excellent liner-note is a model of insight and information and it matches the quality of his work on the podium.' --MusicWeb International
Top Customer Reviews
Scenes from prologue from the intended opera 'Olav Trygvason' contain stirring choruses, dramatic dialogue and exciting dances, but the disc starts with a stirring chorus which ought be on the repertoire of every male voice choir in the country!
Other choruses and incidental music from 'Sigurd Jorsalfar' follow, but the disc ends on a peaceful note with a lovely arrangement by Grieg of a song by Neupart as a beautiful contrast to the wild pagan dances that end the scenes from 'Olav Trygvason'.
The only thing wrong with this disc is the illustration on the cover, a painting of the betrayal of Jesus, which has no relevance to the Viking themes of the music.
Otherwise this the most exciting disc I've listened to for months! And it's so cheap!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The album consists of three of Grieg's collaborations with the radical author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (radical for 19th century Norway, he believed in democracy and liberty), the main work being their uncompleted opera about Olav Trygvason, an early Norwegian king who tried to Christianize the country. If you enjoy spirited mid-Romantic choral music, you'll probably like this album.
The texts and translations can be easily found and downloaded from the Naxos web site.
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