Friday, March 02, 2012

Grieg: Music for String Orchestra

"A new addition to a generous series of Grieg recordings on the Naxos label offers his music for strings, beautifully played by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra of Sweden under the conductor Bjarte Engeset. Writing for just this segment empowered Grieg, and these works are masterly. Grieg favored a big string sound, which this orchestra provides, rather than the more traditional chamber ensemble of strings. Grieg often mined folk tunes for melodic ideas, and many of the pieces here are arrangements of his songs and piano pieces. ... The 'Holberg Suite' (in full, 'From Holberg’s Time: Suite in Olden Style') is drawn from music Grieg wrote in 1884 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the playwright Ludvig Holberg. Though this is a witty and skillfully scored neo-Rococo suite, in Grieg’s hands the Gavotte and Rigaudon are touched with the heavy-footed bounce of Norwegian folk dance as well as some inner sadness" (Anthony Tommasini, "Malmo Symphony Plays Grieg," New York Times, 1/13/12).

View catalog record here!