Magazine article Gramophone

High-Resolution Homage to the Norwegian Continues

Magazine article Gramophone

High-Resolution Homage to the Norwegian Continues

Article excerpt

'Hommage a Grieg, Vol 3'

Bjorklund Hommage a Grieg Brahms Variations

on a Theme of Joseph Haydn, Op 56b Plagge

Grieg Metamorphosis, Op 160 Saint-Saens

Variations on a Theme of Beethoven, Op 35

Dena Piano Duo

2L (F) (2) (SACD + (BLU) 2L094SABD (55' * DDD/DSD * DTS-HD MA192kHz/24-bit 5.1 & LPCM stereo)

Issued jointly on both Blu-ray Disc and Super Audio CD, this German/Swiss teacher/pupil duo's recital is the third of an unhackneyed journey around Grieg and his influences. Previous issues looked at the Norwegian's two-piano 'arrangements' of Mozart's piano sonatas and his C minor Fantasy, and Grieg's own original keyboard version of his Old Norwegian Romance (Vol 2was reviewed by Ivan March, 7/09). Now Heide Gortz--a sometime pupil of Conrad Hansen--and Tina Margareta Nilssen tackle a pair of composers Grieg enjoyed duetting with, and two newly commissioned works.

After a strong, serious, rhythmically alert St Antoni Chorale -remember it's from a hymn, not by Haydn at all -Wolfgang Plagge's Grieg Metamorphosis, on a theme from the Op 12 Lyric Pieces, explodes across the speakers in a brilliant flurry of sound and descant-like activity. (Plagge himself is actually the producer of this whole recording.) Terje Bjorklund, a famous Norwegian jazzer now turned more classical, contributes what he calls 'Grieg meets Bartok, Stravinsky and Arvo Part', alluding to the Piano Concerto, the G minor Ballade and String Quartet, and one of the Norwegian Folk Songs. Busy fun, but on first hearings less coherent than the Plagge. …

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