Geirr Tveitt, GRIEG: Piano Concerto / Symphonic Dances / In Autumn

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
An old warhorse sounds young and full of energy — all over again.

Among the most famous of all recorded "shotgun weddings" is the coupling of the piano concertos by Grieg and Schumann — ironically, they don't really have that much in common! Detached from its enforced companion, what do we have? Certainly one of the most famous of all piano concerto openings — a majestic roll on the timpani followed by a thrilling descent of the keyboard that just speaks with the voice of High Romanticism. But, in a way, that is to distort what the piece is all about — because as much of its appeal lies in its delicacy and melodic richness as in its moments of soaring Big Tunes. That Grieg could pen a great tune is not in doubt, but he was also a master orchestrator with a very light touch when it came to drawing colour from his forces. Håvard Gimse brings a nicely idiomatic touch and, magically, makes this old warhorse sound young and full of energy — all over again!