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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Eyvind ALNÆS (1872–1932)
Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 27 (1913) [31:25]
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 7 (1897) [38:41]
Håvard Gimse (piano)
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Eivind Aadland
rec. 2013, Oslo Concert Hall
LAWO LWC1112 [70:11]

This disc opens proceedings with a towering splash and blast of sound. The piano is right there, front and centre, and will not let go of your ears and your lapels. Alnaes' Piano Concerto, in three movements, is an assertive and storm-tossed late-romantic piece and no mistake. It has the feel of the Grieg Piano Concerto but with an intensifying filmic overlay. The tenderly dignified Lento's brooding funereal nobility is dispelled by a "hearts and flowers" Tempo di Valse finale which contrasts with the largely unrelenting tempests of the opening Allegro moderato. This is more Glazunov, Moszkowski, Arensky or Saint-Saëns than Rachmaninov or even Scharwenka. It's very entertaining, even so. Things are helped by the fact that Alnaes can reach for a good melody when the situation calls for one.

The Piano Concerto has been recorded previously. In recent years Hyperion gave us the world premiere where the coupling was the Sinding Piano Concerto. Alnaes can be heard on other discs. For example, there are many songs of which four are sung by Kirsten Flagstad on Eloquence. Martin Anderson's Toccata label has weighed in with songs and solo piano music. The two Alnaes' symphonies are on a Sterling CD (review review review). This conveniently brings us to the other work on this disc: Alnaes' First Symphony. This work predates the Piano Concerto by a decade and a half. Its four confident movements are heavily influenced by Tchaikovsky. It's a fluent and very animated piece of work by a 25-year-old composer. Beholden as it may be to other figures, it is enjoyable and rests easily in the company of symphonies by Paderewski, Dohnányi, Glazunov, Xaver Scharwenka and Louis Glass. The finale is an example of a composer at adept play with aspects of Brahms and Mendelssohn. This is updated with Tchaikovskian elements, especially in the wind writing.

The booklet is exceptionally well done with a good essay by Halvor K Hosar. It's in Norwegian and English (side by side).

Choices? This will suit those who are looking to sample Alnaes as concerto and symphony practitioner. The recordings and performances are admirable - no holds barred. No other disc has this coupling. If, on the other hand, you want to strike out in other directions then look for the two Toccata Classics discs. If you seek Alnaes in the context of the Norwegian romantic piano concerto then Hyperion are at your service and they also offer the Sinding Concerto of 1889-1901. Sterling supply both examples of Alnaes the symphonist. Lawo's version of the Alnaes Piano Concerto is full-on and may well assuage in part your interest in finding a companionably stirring listening experience after the Grieg Piano Concerto. These are all premium price discs.

Rob Barnett
Previous review: Gary Higginson



Advertising on

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: 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
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger