One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Piano Concerto in A minor [30:48]
Lyric Pieces
Javier Perianes (piano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
rec. 2014, live, Barbican Hall, London; Teldex Studio, Berlin. Stereo
HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902205 [70:02]

An interesting distribution of artist information: the pianist gets the inside back cover under the CD plus the CD itself, the conductor gets the inside back page of the booklet. Neither get biographies. In the case of Javier Perianes this is something of a shame because he is much less well known than Sakari Oramo. A quick search on the web reveals he is young, Spanish and clearly on his way up. I say clearly because this is a splendid CD with even the old war-horse of Grieg's concerto coming up sparkling. The BBC Radio 3 recording conveys a clean sound-picture with little sense of an acoustic space, hardly surprising given the number of mikes in use on the Barbican stage. Everything is however suitably present. All this is made clear by the powerful opening flourish, one of the most famous in the romantic repertoire. The first and second subjects are more widely separated in mood than in the classic old Solomon and Lipatti performances from which I learned this piece. Solomon is more 'classical' and restrained and Lipatti somewhat faster. Both display a more detached approach. Perianes sees the piece as a romantic outpouring giving big gestures and large contrasts of tone and dynamic. The BBCSO play with their customary skill and give no suggestion that this is their ten-thousandth time of accompanying this concerto. The adagio is a gorgeous affair giving the orchestra as much opportunity as the soloist for beautiful sounds. Grieg's finale is certainly marcato but it also swings along with great vitality. Perianes has technique in spades. His phrasing is subtle and the piano really sings in the soulful music. The cascades of notes Grieg requires at climactic moments are thrown off with considerable aplomb: very much not a casual run-through. A very nice addition to the catalogue.

The twelve Lyric Pieces are barely a fifth of those written by Grieg during all stages of his compositional life. These are recorded in the Teldex Studios, Berlin and sound very good indeed. The opening Arietta has hints of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' but is very pretty for all that. The Kanon is gentle and reflective whilst the Butterfly flutters appealingly. The Solitary Traveller has a rocking motion and is a lovely creation. It contrasts well with the Melody a passionate piece with a great tune. The March of the Trolls is one of the handful orchestrated by Grieg: it is essentially a scherzo with an elegiac trio. The Nocturne is also one of those orchestrated and shows Grieg at his most reflective. The soulful Homesickness is another tripartite piece with a more lively central section. At your feet yearns in best romantic style and is full of nostalgia. At the cradle is of course a lullaby. After several short items Once upon a time presents a more substantial piece finding space for both an introduction and a coda around the dramatic core. The recital ends with Remembrance a sad waltz reminiscent of Sibelius' Valse Triste, which drifts gently away. These twelve pieces are much more that mere salon music. The musical values of Grieg's miniatures are very high and they deserve to be placed alongside the short works of Schumann and Debussy as amongst the best in that category of piano music.

Dave Billinge

Previous review: Dan Morgan

Contents (Lyric Pieces)
Arietta Op.12/1 [1:25]
Kanon Op.38/8 [5:00]
Butterfly Op.43/1 [1:54]
Solitary Traveller Op.43/2 [2:20]
Melody Op.47/3 [3:39]
March of the Trolls Op.54/3 [2:59]
Nocturne Op.54/4 [4:17]
Homesickness Op.57/6 [4:33]
At your feet Op.68/3 3:03]
At the cradle Op.68/5 [3:27]
Once upon a time Op.71/1 [4:36]
Remembrance Op.71/7 [1:52]

 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger