Magazine article Gramophone

Grieg * Grainger * Nielsen: Grainger Scandinavian Suite

Magazine article Gramophone

Grieg * Grainger * Nielsen: Grainger Scandinavian Suite

Article excerpt

Grieg * Grainger * Nielsen [G]

Grainger Scandinavian Suite Grieg Cello Sonata, Op 36. Intermezzo. Violin Sonata

No 3, Op 45 Allegretto. Andante con

moto Nielsen Saenk kun

dit hoved, du blomst, Op 21 No 4

Andreas Brantelid VC Christian Ihle Hadland pf BIS [F] [SACD] BIS2120 (67' *

DDD/DSD)

Grieg's 1882/83 Cello Sonata was premiered by the composer accompanying Friedrich Grutzmacher (the cellist who made up Boccherini concertos). It has remained a regular calling point in a not huge Romantic repertoire for the instrument, although its emotional directness and relative formal simplicity have not pleased all commentators. (A past review in this journal even dismissed the work as 'melodrama'--12/09.) The programming alongside it here is intelligent and logical. Grainger's Suite is a set of musical postcards from Norway, Denmark and Sweden (the last including a tune later made famous by Stan Getz), written for a Danish cellist (like Brantelid) with whom he performed Grieg's Sonata.

The quite magical spring in the step of these new performances comes from that unique-seeming 'Nordic' balance and understanding between accompanying instruments shared by Brantelid and his young Norwegian partner, and from how BIS has recorded them at Suffolk's Potton Hall. …

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