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Allegretto spiritoso – Best of Liv Glaser
Liv Glaser (fortepiano)
rec. CD 2 tr. 1–6, 12–24, 29–34: January 2012, Lindemansalen, NMH; Others recorded at various dates during the last 25 years.
SIMAX PSC1327 [78:02 + 73:24]

Norwegian pianist Liv Glaser, now in her early eighties, has been one of the foremost Nordic pianists for more than 55 years. Born into a family where both her parents were professional musicians, music was in her blood and after studies with her then famous compatriot Robert Riefling and legendary Vlado Perlemuter in Paris, she made her professional debut in 1960. In a broad repertoire, not least with a bias to French composers, she has performed widely and the present compilation gives a hint about her preferences: classical and early romantic composers – and Grieg. This interest inspired her during the last 25 years to explore the fortepiano, resulting in a number of recordings from which the contents of this 2CD-set have been culled. The instruments showcased here are either replicas of historical instruments or originals carefully restored. Without in any way being a specialist in historical keyboard instruments, I found the sounds presented here very much to my liking and the playing is generally beyond reproach. The only recordings here that I was familiar with are the three lyric pieces by Edvard Grieg from a CD that I reviewed some years ago (review). My reaction then was that the use of an instrument that Grieg may have played — not this particular instrument — put the music in a new perspective: more frail, less streamlined. It may take some time to get used to but it is worth the effort. All the other music, bar Ravel’s, are of earlier dates and even more prone to be authentic sounding.

The Mozart sonata movements are from a complete sonata cycle on five CDs, and the playing is consistently appealing. My only regret is in fact that we weren’t vouchsafed a complete sonata. Isolated movements, however attractive they may be, give an impression of a half-measure. OK, this is probably meant as a sampler, but I still think that offering two complete sonatas instead of eight movements from as many sonatas would have been a better idea. The same goes for the Clementi pieces. One or two of his sonatinas would have more satisfactory. Much of the rest are short pieces that can stand on their own feet and are often performed that way: Schumann, Schubert, Brahms and Ravel work fine in bits and pieces and they are well played.

The music where she accompanies fellow musicians contribute to a more varied programme. Soprano Helene Wold sings five Mendelssohn songs beautifully, Per Vollestad, Norwegian baritone with an international career, is completely in his element in five songs from Die schöne Müllerin and Liv’s younger brother Ernst Simon Glaser plays three of Schumann’s Fantasie-Stücke for cello as to the manner born.

For those unfamiliar with the fortepiano or with the eminent pianist Liv Glaser or those who want a well-played, mixed programme of accessible music from late 18th century to early 20th century this is a very attractive proposition.

Göran Forsling

Contents List 
CD 1 [78:02]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
1. Piano Sonata No. 13 in B Flat Major, KV 333 – I Allegro [7:11]
2. Piano Sonata No. 15 in F Major, KV 533/494 – I Allegro [7:40]
3. Piano Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, KV 310 – III Presto [2:56]
4. Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, KV 545 – I Allegro [2:59]
(Anton Walter fortepiano, replica built by Paul McNulty)
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856)
From Kinderszenen, Op. 15:
5. Bittendes Kind [0:46]
6. Glückes genug [1:26]
7. Wichtige Begebenheit [0:49]
8. Träumerei [1:56]
9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd [0:43]
(Gotlieb Hafner fortepiano (Vienna ca. 1830) restored by Edwin Beunk and Johan Wennick)
Muzio CLEMENTI (1752 – 1832)
10. Sonatina in C Major Op. 36 No. 3 – Spiritoso [2:43]
11. Sonatina in C Major Op. 36 No. 3 – Un poco adagio [1:30]
12. Sonatina in F Minor Op. 13 No. 6 – Allegro agitato [4:30]
13. Sonatina in F Minor Op. 13 No. 6 – Largo e sostenuto [5:29]
14. Sonatina in D Mqajor Op. 36 No. 6 – Rondo, Allegretto spiritoso [2:04]
(Longman and Clementi fortepiano (1799) replica built by Chris Maene (2003)
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 – 1847)
15. Die Liebende schreibt, Op. 86 No. 3 [3:09]
16. Schilflied, Op. 71 No. 4 [2:46]
17. Neue Liebe Op. 19 No. 4 [1:58]
18. Frage, Op. 9 No. 1 [1:09]
19. Tanzt dem schönen Mai entgegen [2:00]
Helene Wold (soprano)
Alois Graff fortepiano (1825) restored by Edwin Beunk)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
20. Piano Sonata No. 7 in C Major, KV 309 – III Rondeau, Allegretto grazioso [6:10]
21. Piano Sonata No. 18 in D Major, KV 576 – III Allegretto [4:25]
22. Piano Sonata No. 12 in F Major, KV 332 – II Adagio [4:37]
23. Piano Sonata No. 17 in B Flat Major, KV 570 – III Allegretto [3:37]
(Anton Walter fortepiano, replica built by Paul McNulty)
 
CD 2 [73:24]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828)
From Valses nobles, D 969:
1. No. 9 [1:15]
2. No. 10 [0:41]
3. No. 3 [2:14]
4. No. 8 [1:07]
5. No. 11 [0:37]
6. No. 12 [0:55]
From Die schöne Müllerin, D 795:
7. Wohin? [2:13]
8. Morgengruss [4:37]
9. Tränenregen [3:38]
10. Mit dem grünen Lautenbande [1:49]
11. Der Jäger [1:16]
Per Vollestad (baritone)
From Valses sentimentales, D 779:
12. No. 1 [0:45]
13. No. 7 [0:55]
14. No. 12 [0:41]
15. No. 13 [1:17]
16. No. 15 [0:45]
17. No. 19 [0:47]
18. No. 23 [0:53]
19. No. 29 [1:09]
(Alois Graff fortepiano (1825) restored by Edwin Beunk)
Maurice RAVEL (1875 – 1937)
From Valses Nobles et Sentimentales:
20. I Modéré – très franc [1:23]
21. III Modéré [1:23]
22. IV Assez animé [1:02]
23. V Presque lent [1:20]
24. VI Vif [0:48]
Edvard GRIEG (1843 – 1907)
25. Fra ungdomsdagene, Lyric Pieces, Vol. VIII, Op. 65 [5:10]
26. Halling, Lyric Pieces, Vol. II, Op. 38 [1:34]
27. Notturno, Lyric Pieces, Vol. V, Op. 54 [4:03]
(Érard grand piano (London 1853) restored by David Winston)
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897)
28. Intermezzo, Klavierstücke, Op. 119 [3:43]
Waltzer, Op. 39:
29. No. 1 [0:52]
30. No. 3 [0:46]
31. No. 6 [1:09]
32. No. 9 [1:00]
33. No. 10 [0:37]
34. No. 11 [1:32]
(Alois Graff fortepiano (1825) restored by Edwin Beunk)
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856)
From Album für die Jugend, Op. 68:
35. Frühlingsgesang [1:52]
36. Kleiner Morgenwanderer [1:06]
37. Stückchen [0:53]
38. Wilder Reiter [0:31]
39. No. 26 [2:04]
40. Fröhlicher Landmann [0:42]
41. Rundgesang [1:30]
42. Jägerliedchen [1:03]
43. Winterzeit [2:13]
44. Soldatenmarsch [0:40]
45. Erinnerung [2:10]
(Gotlieb Hafner fortepiano (Vienna ca. 1830) restored by Edwin Beunk and John Wennick)
Fantasie-Stücke, Op. 73:
46. Zart und mit Ausdruck [3:10]
47. Lebhaft, leicht [3:12]
48. Rasch und mit Feuer [3:51]
Ernst Simon Glaser (cello)
(Alois Graff fortepiano (1825) restored by Edwin Beunk)

 

 




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