Grieg: Peer Gynt

Grieg: Peer Gynt

by Paavo Järvi
     
 

Although it contains some of the most familiar melodies in classical music, Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt never loses its fresh and unmistakable air of rugged Nordic beauty. That seems especially true nowadays, since conductors increasingly bypass the two familiar suites of excerpts in favor of the complete incidental music that Grieg composed for Ibsen's play. ThisSee more details below

Overview

Although it contains some of the most familiar melodies in classical music, Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt never loses its fresh and unmistakable air of rugged Nordic beauty. That seems especially true nowadays, since conductors increasingly bypass the two familiar suites of excerpts in favor of the complete incidental music that Grieg composed for Ibsen's play. This approach has several advantages, all of which are demonstrated clearly by Paavo Järvi's wonderful new recording (which still omits a handful of numbers that were intended to accompany spoken dialogue). Over the course of an hour, Grieg's music follows the dramatic arch of Ibsen's narrative, rather than just offering a parade of hit tunes, and it becomes obvious that Grieg created cross-references between the various sections with great care; just as one example, the famous "Morning Mood" theme is prefigured several numbers earlier, in "Peer Gynt and the Woman in Green." We also get to hear the original parts for chorus (marvelously brutal in the "Hall of the Mountain King") and for solo vocalists. In the latter, soprano Camilla Tilling offers especially lovely performances of Solveig's songs, while baritone Peter Mattei swaggers appropriately in the title character's "Serenade." Järvi extracts the necessary array of rich and often darkly tinted orchestral hues from the Estonian National Symphony, while also striking just the right balance of charming, ominous, mournful, and sentimental moods. In all, this recording leaves the listener thinking that Peer Gynt's status as Grieg's most popular work is wholly justified -- and for making the score sound like the masterpiece that it is, it deserves a strong recommendation indeed.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The suites from "Peer Gynt," through no fault of his own, are Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's calling card. Certain pieces, such as "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" are well known even among those who have never heard of Grieg. However, Grieg's incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play "Peer Gynt" is only seldom recorded as a complete unit. Part of the problem is a textual one, as although Grieg finished the score barely in time for the premiere of "Peer Gynt" in 1876, he continued to alter it over the course of the next 20 years. A critical edition incorporating Grieg's final thoughts on the matter was not published until 1987 and was concurrently recorded for Deutsche Grammophon by Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony. The family tradition is carried on in this Virgin Classics recording, as it is led by his son, Paavo Järvi, with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In orchestral terms, the younger Järvi's Grieg: Peer Gynt is a magnificent performance, fully capturing the sweep and grandeur of Grieg and Ibsen's vast conception. While in some instances Järvi cannot resist pointing up some of the music's similarity to the idiom of Mussorgsky, he is likewise careful not to lose sight of the score's Nordic iciness. The little bit of singing that there is in "Peer Gynt" is essentially where this Virgin Classics release comes down to earth. In "In the Hall of the Mountain King" there is a problem of balance between the Estonian National Male Choir and the orchestra in that the latter is quite clearly drowned out by the former. Baritone Peter Mattei does a fine job singing the one song the title character is given to sing, and Camilla Tilling is good as Solveig, although if one already has Kirsten Flagstad's performance of "Solveig's Song" in his/her head this might be a bit of a letdown. There is no ambiguity, though, about Charlotte Hellekant as Arabian temptress Anitra -- she sings as though she is trying to sell real estate, rather than seduce Peer and relieve him of his fortune. Robert Layton's liner notes are excellent; we are surprised to learn how Grieg felt that "In the Hall of the Mountain King" was something "I literally can't bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-dung" and the extraordinary extent to which Ibsen himself intervened in the creation of this music.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
A splendid new recording.... [Jarvi] draws a refined yet exciting performance.... The familiar "In the Hall of the Mountain King" sounds utterly chilling in its original version, with shrieking chorus and vehement percussion.
Gramophone - Edward Greenfield
[Järvi's] account of the celebrated "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is even more exciting than his father's with a wild accelerando and vigorous vocal contributions.... Warmly recommended to those who want a single disc of virtually all the significant music that Grieg composed for Ibsen's play.
BBC Music Magazine
Achieves a sense of drama as propulsive as a film score.
Classic FM Magazine - Julian Haylock
This new, gloriously played and recorded account from Paavo Järvi...is a real winner.... Highly recommended.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2005
Label:
Erato
UPC:
0724354572227
catalogNumber:
45722
Rank:
81283

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 1. Prelude to Act 1. I bryllupsgården (At the  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  2. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 2. Halling  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  3. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 4. Prelude to Act 2. Bruderovet. Ingrids klage  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  4. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 6. Peer Gynt og Den grønnkledte (Peer Gynt and  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  5. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 7. Peer Gynt: "På ridestellet skal storfolk kj  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  6. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 3. Springar  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  7. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 8. I Dovregubbens hall (In the Hall of the Mou  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  -  Estonian National Male Choir  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Ants Soots  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  -  Ellerhein Girls' Choir  - Arvo Leibur  - Tiia-Ester Loitme  - Rain Vilu
  8. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 9. Dans av Dovregubbens datter (Dance of the M  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  9. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 12. Prelude to Act 3. Åses død (The Death of Å  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  10. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 13. Prelude to Act 4. Morgenstemning (Morning  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  11. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 15. Arabisk dans (Arabian Dance)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  -  Estonian National Male Choir  - Charlotte Hellekant  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Ants Soots  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  -  Ellerhein Girls' Choir  - Arvo Leibur  - Tiia-Ester Loitme  - Rain Vilu
  12. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 16. Anitras dans (Anitra's Dance)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  13. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 17. Peer Gynts serenade (Peer Gynt's Serenade)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Peter Mattei  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  14. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 19. Solveigs sang (Solveig's Song)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Camilla Tilling  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  15. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 20. Peer Gynt ved Memnonstøtten (Peer Gynt at  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  16. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 21. Prelude to Act 5. Peer Gynts hjemfart. Sto  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  17. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 22. Skipsforliset (The Shipwreck)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  18. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 23. Solveig synger i hytten (Solveig sings in  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  - Camilla Tilling  - Arvo Leibur  - Rain Vilu
  19. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 25. Pinsesalme: "Velsignede morgen" (Whitsun H  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  -  Estonian National Male Choir  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Ants Soots  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  -  Ellerhein Girls' Choir  - Arvo Leibur  - Tiia-Ester Loitme  - Rain Vilu
  20. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: No. 26. Solveigs vuggevise (Solveig's Cradle Song)  - Edvard Grieg  - Virginie Bauzou  -  Estonian National Male Choir  - Florence Daguerre de Hureaux  - Paavo Järvi  - Alain Lanceron  - Bernd Müller  - Ants Soots  - Anne Steeb  - Renate Maria Wendel  -  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  -  Ellerhein Girls' Choir  - Camilla Tilling  - Arvo Leibur  - Tiia-Ester Loitme  - Rain Vilu

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