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Grieg Greatest Hits

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Grieg Compilation a Winner!

    Edvard Grieg always sounded like an interesting composer to me. I bought this CD, and I was amazed and delighted. It features six or seven different top-notch conductors performing Grieg's best-loved works. Esa-Pekka Salonen gives heart-felt, dramatic performances of the Peer-Gynt Suites. The Morning Mood is calming and delightful, evoking pleasant, youthful memories in my life. Ase's Death is slow, ponderous, and heartfelt, with the strings executing long difficult phrases and dramatic dynamic contrasts. Anitra's Dance is charming and playful, with great pizzicati strokes, prominent melody, and bouyancy. I love the way that Salonen begins In the Hall of the Mountain King very slowly and mysteriously, only to accelerate amazingly, reaching a powerful climax with strong, accurate playing and the Oslo Women's Choir, an optional feature. The last cymbal crashes and choral outbursts are thrilling. This CD includes Murray Perahia's opening movement of the Piano Concerto. It is the mark of a masterful artist, with rich tone, smooth runs, lyrical melody, and the wonderful give-and-take from the orchestra. Salonen's Homage March is a powerful, convincing, patriotic statement straight from Norway! The Oslo strings play the beautiful, hushed melody with majesty. The percussion is flawless, and the full orchestral playing is rich, full, and mind-blowing. The Elegiac Melodies with Eugene Ormandy are tragic and heart-breaking, bringing tears to my eyes. They are fine technically, but the emotion present in the playing is much more effective. The March of the Trolls with Leonard Bernstein is a fun, mischievous experience, with good drive and contrast. The low strings play with intensity and drive, while the flute and other woodwinds play sweetly and lushly. Salonen's other Peer Gynt recordings remain consistent with the first. You can't go wrong with this CD!

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