Magazine article Gramophone

Grieg * Schumann: Grieg Piano Concerto, Op 16

Magazine article Gramophone

Grieg * Schumann: Grieg Piano Concerto, Op 16

Article excerpt

Grieg * Schumann

Grieg Piano Concerto, Op 16

Schumann Piano Concerto, Op 54

Janne Mertanen pf

Gavle Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Koivula

Alba [F] [SACD] ABCD356 (61' * DDD)

The coupling of the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos was long dominated by the virtually ideal partnership of Stephen Kovacevich and Colin Davis; a new pairing arrived when Leif Ove Andsnes was joined by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, which had the advantage of more modern sound. But, like Andsnes, Janne Mertanen's bravura is also commanding, as, more importantly, are his tenderness and spontaneous poetic response. This certainly applies in the very familiar Grieg work, with sparkling outer movements and a touching Nordic Adagio.

The Gavle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Koivula also play gloriously and have an initial advantage in that the recording is multichannel, warm, full and very well balanced, with a truthful piano image, which applies whether one plays the disc on SACD equipment or an ordinary stereo system. There is also an excellent note by Bryce Morrison, who offers historical background but also ventures an opinion on the quality of the Schumann performance. …

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