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Grieg: Olav Trygvason [Magne Fremmerlid, Nina Gravrok, Marianne E. Andersen] [Naxos: 8573045]

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Review

'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

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I know that most of this music can be found in other versions, as in a couple of boxes of Grieg's complete orchestral works, but this disc a perfect buy for someone who already has versions of the better known items, but who otherwise wants listen to some of the stirring music imaginable, in performances which raise the roof. The singers and orchestra are inspired to give their considerable best in music that most people won't know. All the music is Grieg at his best if not his most typical, dramatic rather than lyrical.
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!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Grieg series by conductor Bjarte Engeset goes from strength to strength. From my school chorus days (way back in the sixties)I know some of these pieces quite well, but I was hardly prepared for the passion and commitment shown by everybody involved, including the famous Lund Student Singers and Engeset who loves and understands this music. Grieg has rarely sounded so fiery!The jewel in the crown is the short but deeply impressive Landkjenning.
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All perfectly!
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Format: Audio CD
Great purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x95766a2c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9576b330) out of 5 stars Delightful Choral Pieces Reminiscent of Holländer 20 Dec. 2013
By James Troutman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This morning I saw that this recording was chosen by one of the New York Times music critics as a best of the year selection. As I have relatively few Grieg recordings, I thought I'd give it a listen, and I'm very glad I did. The music is delightfully melodic and rousing, very similar to my ears to the choral music in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer. While there are extended portions for soloists, the bulk of the music is choral.

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.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95b5c450) out of 5 stars Rousing survey of Gireg's nationalistic works 10 Feb. 2014
By RichinCA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This generous--66-minute--CD consists of works inspired by Bjornson, a key figure in Norway's embrace of nationalism in the 19th century. "Landkjenning" or "Land-Sighting," the opening work for male chorus, soloist and orchestra, conveys the fervor of Norwegian sailors as they see their coast on their return from England. Listeners familiar with Wagner's Flying Dutchman and its sea choruses will recognize some similarities. The incidental music excerpts from Bjornson's plays include vocal solos, choruses, horn calls and marches, replete with drums and cymbals; if you like some of the dramatic "Peer Gynt" incidental music, this one just might be for you. The final piece, "Resignation," is Grieg's arrangement of a song by Norwegian composer Edmund Neupert that closes the program; again, the mood is nationalistic but nostalgic and reflective in tone, in contrast to the tub-thumping theatre works. While no match for world-class ensembles, the Malmo Opera and Symphony Orchestras perform with conviction, and the soloists and choirs dispatch the Norwegian lyrics with enthusiasm. Sonics are first-rate, although these pieces would be even more exciting in Blu-Ray or Surround Sound formats. In all, a good deal at the Naxos asking price.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95b4a0c0) out of 5 stars enjoyed it 4 Mar. 2014
By MysteryLover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great sound on my car's CD player. I enjoy listening to a new to me Grieg work. Will look for more.
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