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Ballad for Edvard Grieg
     

Ballad for Edvard Grieg

by Leif Ove Andsnes
 
This performance of Grieg's "Piano Concerto" with Mariss Jansons leading the Berliner Philharmoniker is not the first time Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has recorded his fellow-countryman's concerto. Back in 1990 when he was a young steel-fingered super-virtuoso,

Overview

This performance of Grieg's "Piano Concerto" with Mariss Jansons leading the Berliner Philharmoniker is not the first time Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has recorded his fellow-countryman's concerto. Back in 1990 when he was a young steel-fingered super-virtuoso, Andsnes also recorded the work with Dmitri Kitayenko and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance that could change the course of mighty rivers and leap tall buildings in a single bound. Nor is this the first time Andsnes' 2002 recording of the concerto has been issued: back in 2003, EMI had released it coupled with his recording of Schumann's "Piano Concerto." Nor is this the first release of Andsnes' 2001 performances of six of Grieg's "Lyric Pieces" included here: recorded in the composer's own home on his own piano, they were also issued along with 18 other "Lyric Pieces" in 2002. It is, however, the first release of Andsnes' first recording from 2007 of Grieg's nearly 20-minute-long "Ballade in G minor." And though dedicated fans of the pianist will likely have already heard the other performances on this disc in their earlier incarnations, they may still be strongly tempted to check out this one just for the "Ballade." For them, it goes without saying that Andsnes, an artist with an almost supernatural aptitude for Grieg, turned in a second recording of the concerto just as technically jaw-dropping as his first, but with greater depths and insights and a set of "Lyric Pieces" played with terrific virtuosity and suffused with tremendous loveliness. But for them, and for fans of the composer, Andsnes' recording of the "Ballade" will be a treat and a revelation. Though the pianist confesses he had previously found the work awkward and ungainly despite its many beauties, he subsequently became a true believer in its worth and his performance here not only expresses the work's beauties, it articulates its formal structure in a way that makes Andsnes' interpretation arguably the most persuasive ever recorded. Although recorded in three different times and places, EMI's sound is consistently bright, deep, and real.

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star - John Terauds
The old-warhorse Piano Concerto in A minor sounds as fresh as the day it was written.... Fabulous.
Raleigh-Durham News & Observer - David Perkins
Andsnes has an instinctive sense of when and how much to relax in the lyric moments, with power in reserve for climaxes.... The Berlin Philharmonic is like a cushion of velvet under the sharp-edged rubies and emeralds of Andsnes' playing.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2007
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
0094639439928
catalogNumber:
94399

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Ballade for piano in G minor ("In the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Melody"), Op. 24  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  3. Heimweh (Homesickness), lyric piece for piano, Op. 57/6  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  4. Hjemad (Homeward), lyric piece for piano, Op. 62/6  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  5. Bådnlåt (At the Cradle), lyric piece for piano, Op. 68/5  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  6. Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen), lyric piece for piano, Op. 65/6  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  7. Baekken (Brooklet), lyric piece for piano, Op. 62/4  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes
  8. Efterklang (Remembrances), lyric piece for piano, Op. 71/7  - Edvard Grieg  - Edvard Grieg  - Leif Ove Andsnes  - Leif Ove Andsnes

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