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Grieg: Music for String Orchestra / Malmo SO

Album Summary

>Grieg, Edvard : Elegiac Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 34
>Grieg, Edvard : Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 53
>Grieg, Edvard : From Holberg's Time, Op. 40
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (2) for orchestra (orchestration of Op. 68/4 & Op. 68/5)
>Grieg, Edvard : Nordic Melodies (2) for string orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands), Op. 63
>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Sutie, Op. 54
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Grieg's beautiful works for string orchestra often owe their origin to poetic inspiration or to mountain vistas. Some were based on piano originals, including the Holberg Suite, a masterpiece of invention. All of these pieces show Grieg's assimilation of Norwegian folk culture and his lyrical mastery, through which he sought to 'give expression to the hidden harmonies in our folk melodies'. Volume 4 in this series (8570236) was described as containing 'performances as fine as any in the catalogue. These are gorgeous, perfectly paced and thrillingly recorded'. (ClassicsToday.com)

"The excellence of Bjarte Engeset's Grieg recordings speaks for itself... As with previous releases in this series, the performances are outstanding. Much of this music is slow and nostalgic, and Engeset paces it perfectly... Engeset lets the music's romantic pedigree shine through. As for the Lyric Suite, each movement is well-characterized, with the March of the Dwarfs bringing the program to a satisfying conclusion. The sonics are terrific too." -Classics Today (10/10)

Fanfare
Grieg's... orchestrations were skillful and imaginative. Grieg's nationalism is on display throughout the program... This disc... is as satisfying as it is entertaining... Try it. You'll like it.

Scotland on Sunday
Grieg's Holberg Suite was one result: there is real volume and strength in the work, and this, together with the careful referencing of Baroque and Rococo styles and themes, has helped make it hugely popular.

MusicWeb International
The more trifling tunes are really charmingly done here, especially the Two Nordic Melodies, which are actually three (!) and utterly wonderful. As a bonus we get the Lyric Suite, arrangements of four of the Lyric Pieces for piano, with a rhythmically addictive Gangar and a totally delightful March of the Dwarves. As through the whole program, the Malm÷ Symphony combines a warm, full palette of colors with rhythmic precision.

Classic FM
It's difficult to avoid a whole disc of Grieg's music for strings becoming an overdose of Nordic niceness. However, Engeset and the Malm÷ SO have done so to an impressive extent.

The New York Times
A new addition to a generous series of Grieg recordings on the Naxos label offers his music for strings, beautifully played by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra of Sweden under the conductor Bjarte Engeset. Writing for just this segment empowered Grieg, and these works are masterly.

American Record Guide
All of this is delicious music... here is the Malmo orchestra under a Norwegian conductor... This is every bit as good as the Jarvi for maybe half the price... The playing is warm and romantic, the phrasing superb. And I slightly prefer the sound on Naxos; it's warmer and richer.

Infodad.com
Add still more strings, and a series of warm and beautifully paced interpretations, and you have the (++++) CD of music for string orchestra by Edvard Grieg - the sixth volume in Naxos' Grieg Edition. These are ... wonderfully made miniatures, with strong ties to Norwegian folk melodies and a very pleasant lyricism ... the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Bjarte Engeset plays everything with idiomatic understanding and a fine sense of style and pacing ... .this foray into Grieg's string-orchestra music shows just how enjoyable an all-string ensemble can sound ...

Allmusic.com
Grieg's ideal sound for these works was not of a small, intimate chamber ensemble, but a full, rich, symphonic string sound. The Malmö Symphony Orchestra under conductor Bjarte Engeset produces just such a sound: vibrant, shimmering violins; assertive, powerful violas; and articulate, resonating cellos and basses. Engeset's own heritage allows him to accentuate the Nationalistic sentiments and scenic vistas Grieg incorporates into his scores. The lyrical, singing qualities of those pieces transcribed from songs are maintained with beautifully crafted, well-connected lines. The Baroque stylings of the Holberg Suite are executed with crisp, clean articulation and a nice contrast from the deeper, more Romantic works on the rest of the album. The disc closes with an equally lush and rousing performance of the Op. 54 Lyric Suite, the only work on the program not for strings alone.

The WholeNote
All of the performances here are warm and suitably idiomatic, with the sound quality up to the usual Naxos high standard.

MusicWeb International
It's the Holberg Suite that most people will want - just the kind of faux-antiquery that I go for. Here again I liked the slightly faster tempi overall on the Naxos recording. The opening Prelude goes with a real swing without ever sounding rushed.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden.



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Works Details

>Grieg, Edvard : Elegiac Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 34
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (05/25/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Grieg, Edvard : Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 53
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (05/25/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>Grieg, Edvard : From Holberg's Time, Op. 40
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (05/25/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Pieces (2) for orchestra (orchestration of Op. 68/4 & Op. 68/5)
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (05/25/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1898-1899

>Grieg, Edvard : Nordic Melodies (2) for string orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands), Op. 63
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (05/25/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1895

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Sutie, Op. 54 :: 1. Shepherd Boy
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Sutie, Op. 54 :: 2. Gangar
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Sutie, Op. 54 :: 3. Notturno
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Grieg, Edvard : Lyric Sutie, Op. 54 :: 4. March of the Dwarfs
  • Conductor: Bjarte Engeset
  • Ensemble: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden (08/24/2006-08/25/2006)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1904