Magazine article Gramophone

Alnaes: Piano Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Alnaes: Piano Concerto

Article excerpt

Alnaes

Piano Concerto, Op 27 (a). Symphony No 1, Op 7

(a) Havard Gimse pf

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Eivind Aadland

LAWO Classics (F) LWC1112 (70' * DDD)

Eyvind Alnaes's Piano Concerto (1915) has charm aplenty. The Norwegian composer's score is tuneful and opulently orchestrated, and the virtuoso piano-writing is often dazzling. It's impressive for its craftsmanship, too, the myriad ideas developed and interwoven with a sure hand. What's disconcerting is an occasionally jarring juxtaposition of mood and emotion. Listen to the end of the first movement's central development section (beginning around 8'15"), for example, and how Alnaes screws the tension tighter and tighter, building a climax of Tchaikovskian intensity that leads to nothing more than a flippant recapitulation of the opening theme. Or take the end of the darkly lyrical slow movement, where an even more gripping climax this time subsides into eerie stillness--a spell that's rudely broken by the ditzy waltz theme of the finale. The result of these ill-fitting joins is a patchwork effect that undermines the work's structural integrity and narrative coherence. …

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