Edvard Grieg: Chasing The Butterfly

Audio Samples

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65
>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7
>     3. Alla menuetto
>     4. Finale
>     1. Allegro moderato
>     2. Andante molto
>     3. Alla menuetto
>     4. Finale
>     3. Alla menuetto
>     4. Finale
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
>Grieg, Edvard : Humoresque for piano in G sharp minor ("Tempo di Menuetto ed energico"), Op. 6/2
>Grieg, Edvard : Brudefolget drager forbi (Bridal Procession), for piano (or piano, 4 hands)(Scenes from Folk Life No
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71
>Grieg, Edvard : Ballade for Piano in G minor, Op. 24
>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16

Album Summary

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65
>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
>Grieg, Edvard : Humoresque for piano in G sharp minor ("Tempo di Menuetto ed energico"), Op. 6/2
>Grieg, Edvard : Brudefolget drager forbi (Bridal Procession), for piano (or piano, 4 hands)(Scenes from Folk Life No
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71
>Grieg, Edvard : Ballade for Piano in G minor, Op. 24
>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sigurd Slåttebrekk and Tony Harrison were drawn to the artistic quality of Grieg's 1903 recordings of his own work. Their interpretations are based as much on how Grieg played as on how he wrote. Of Slåttebrekk's take on the Piano Concerto, ClassicToday's David Hurwitz wrote, "I know it's silly to talk about 'the best' in a work so often recorded, but if this performance isn't the finest of them all, it's so exceptional that it will make you forget about any others."

"Primitive recording technology had previously rendered these precious historical documents musically indecipherable, but thanks to the painstaking efforts of producer Tony Harrison they now sound amazingly vivid...Slåttebrekk has fully absorbed Grieg's fresh and engaging interpretative approach, and imaginatively applies it to his own marvellous performances" -BBC Music***** (Instrumental Choice - April 2011)

"Slåttebrekk has painstakingly and brilliantly mimicked every last inflection, nuance and tempo employed by Grieg. Flick between the two men playing the same tracks and, if it weren't for the hiss over the 1903 version, you'd struggle to tell them apart. Slåttebrekk's overall aim was more than mimicry though...His reading of the Piano Concerto, recorded without a 1903 version to imitate, demonstrates his success, positively crackling with freshness and vitality." -Classic FM*****

"The performances by Sigurd Slåtterbrekk stem from a forensic examination of those recordings, during which every nuance of Grieg's playing was studied." -The Guardian***

"This is a strange set, but a curiously compelling one as well...Just how exactly the two pianists match one another can be judged from a bit of studio trickery in which the well-known Wedding Day at Troldhaugen splices their performances together...this is certainly a project that gets you thinking." -The Telegraph****

"[The performances] seek to emulate rather than imitate...Tempi are invariably on the brisk side and Grieg's own performances, heard very much through a glass darkly, are of a zest, freshness and freedom that themselves are at the heart of Slåttebrekk's playing...these performances are of a moving poetic empathy and musical devotion." - Gramophone (Editor's Choice - June 2011)

All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
Chasing the Butterfly is the result of a couple of creative people seeing a confluence of ideas and working to produce something unique and unexpected. Pianist Sigurd Slåttebrekk and producer Tony Harrison worked together on a recording of Grieg's Piano Concerto in 2005. The desire to look at the work as if it were a new piece led them to examine the recordings that Grieg himself had made of some of his Lyric Pieces in 1903 in Paris, the composer performing his own works, which at the time would be considered new (or relatively new) music. The next question was "What would those pieces have sounded like on Grieg's own piano?"

Lief Ove Andsnes had already used Grieg's piano at Troldhaugen to record some of the Lyric Pieces. What Slåttebrekk and Harrison decided to do was attempt to re-create Grieg's recordings, to capture the music as Grieg would have played it in his own home, in 21st century sound, meaning not just using the same pieces, but also trying to replicate the same tempos, dynamics, and shadings. Slåttebrekk realized that merely listening to Grieg play and then precisely imitating him would not do. He tried to absorb the way Grieg played, the way he handled different types of passages and sounds, to create performances that sound natural and musical. Slåttebrekk succeeds in this, as can be heard in the full Sonata, Op. 7. Grieg was only able to record half of the last movement, but Slåttebrekk gives us the complete work, sounding very fresh and organic. The same is true of the Ballade, Op. 24. There is a brightness and momentum in his playing that makes it come alive. In the Andante moderato movement he uses sensitive phasing and rubato, but not so much that the sense of direction is ever lost. To prove how closely Slåttebrekk comes to Grieg's original, the Grieg recordings are also included, as is a track Harrison put together of the Wedding Day at Troldhaugen that weaves Grieg's and Slåttebrekk's performances.

The second disc contains the Piano Concerto recording with Michail Jurowski and the Oslo Philharmonic that started it all. It has some of the same sparkle as the solo pieces and is not treated as monumentally heavy or forcefully as most pianists do. This distinctive release -- something of a twist on period performance practice -- is recommended for any fan of Grieg's music.



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Works Details

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1896

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 3. Alla menuetto
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 4. Finale
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1889-1891

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1889-1891

>Grieg, Edvard : Humoresque for piano in G sharp minor ("Tempo di Menuetto ed energico"), Op. 6/2
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Brudefolget drager forbi (Bridal Procession), for piano (or piano, 4 hands)(Scenes from Folk Life No
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1869-1871

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 1. Allegro moderato
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 2. Andante molto
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 3. Alla menuetto
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 4. Finale
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Ballade for Piano in G minor, Op. 24
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1896

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 3. Alla menuetto
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Sonata for Piano in E minor, Op. 7 :: 4. Finale
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1889-1891

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1889-1891

>Grieg, Edvard : Humoresque for piano in G sharp minor ("Tempo di Menuetto ed energico"), Op. 6/2
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Grieg, Edvard : Brudefolget drager forbi (Bridal Procession), for piano (or piano, 4 hands)(Scenes from Folk Life No
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1869-1871

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65
  • Performers: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano); Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1896

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43
  • Performer: Edvard Grieg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16
  • Performer: Sigurd Slåttebrekk (Piano)
  • Conductor: Michail Jurowski
  • Notes: Oslo Konserthus (08/12/2004-08/13/2004)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1868