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Grieg: Works For Piano Duo / Clemmow, Goldstone


Release Date: 07/17/2007 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 25042   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Edvard GriegWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anthony GoldstoneCaroline Clemmow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There are two world premiere recordings here according to the booklet documentation. To have the Homage March from Sigurd Jorsalfar in piano duet – Grieg’s own four-hand arrangement – is enjoyable enough but the main business is the Concerto.

This is partly Grieg’s own work and partly that of Károly (Carl) Thern, whom as Anthony Goldstone’s own notes point out was an Austro-Hungarian composer, conductor and pianist. There’s no evidence that the two actually met. Grieg’s contribution, in the full score, was to allow the pianist to play through the tuttis by means of a piano reduction of the orchestral part. Thern later arranged the orchestral music - when both orchestra and solo instrument are playing – for piano. The
Read more result of this fusion is a work for two pianos. The complete score for two pianos was published in Leipzig in 1876 eight years after the concerto had been completed.

I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or pleased but I found the experience of listening to the resultant work highly congenial. Humphrey Lyttelton once wrote, in another context, that he found the task of identifying a famous tune from a ruthlessly pared down arrangement rather like trying to recognise an old friend from his skeleton. Obviously there’s no chance of that here. We get instead clarity and a keen insight into the compositional process. It was actually rather worrying how quickly the ear adjusts to the two piano sonority and one either absorbs the unusual medium or else projects the orchestral patina from it. Usually one hears unexpected things. My own ear doubtless benefited the two pianos with a warm cello burnish in the first movement but it’s the finale that proves the most diverting. It clarifies much of the orchestral writing that in performance one tends to elide in favour of the piano’s romantic bravura. The folkloric elements are also that much more clear, although the slow movement naturally suffers the most from the reduction, well though the Goldstone-Clemmow play.

Grieg arranged two four-movement suites from Peer Gynt – here we have the Suite No.1, arranged in 1877 and 1878. The birdsong in Morning Mood is warmly evoked and the Death of Ase brings suitable gravity. The Norwegian Dances were written for piano duet so it’s not so much of a culture shock to us to hear them thus. They certainly get an exciting work out here, dynamic in the First and full of scurrying detail in the Second with its outer sections insouciantly projected. The Homage March makes a suitable contrast, full of a certain static grandeur.

The Mozart sonata has a second piano part arranged by Grieg in 1877. He probes some chromaticisms, most especially in the Andante, where the bass part is sometimes quirkily filled in. It makes for a suitable disc mate for his own compositions.

The recording, though made in a church, is actually very well judged. The playing as noted is buoyant and sensitive by turns; this duo has a real flair for the unexpected. As such this makes for an unusual perspective on a much-abused warhorse – with the added attraction of some equally diverting companion works.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

This is quite an interesting and well-performed programme. There are quite a few fans of these pieces that will discover new facets to this music from the performances found here. The recording quality is solid and clear, with some sense of ambient space without going to the extent of muddying the sound. Catch this one while it’s available.

-- David Blomenberg, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anthony Goldstone (Piano), Caroline Clemmow (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
Notes: Composer: Edvard Grieg. 
2. Peer Gynt Suite no 1, Op. 46 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Caroline Clemmow (Piano), Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875/1888; Norway 
Notes: Composer: Edvard Grieg. 
3. Norwegian Dances (4) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 35 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Caroline Clemmow (Piano), Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Norway 
Notes: Composer: Edvard Grieg. 
4. Sonata for Piano no 16 in C major, K 545 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anthony Goldstone (Piano), Caroline Clemmow (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Composer: Edvard Grieg. 
5. Sigurd Jorsalfar Suite, Op. 56: Homage March by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Caroline Clemmow (Piano), Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Goldstone-Clemmow Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872/1892; Norway 
Notes: Composer: Edvard Grieg. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (version for 2 pianos): I. Allegro molto moderato
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (version for 2 pianos): II. Adagio -
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (version for 2 pianos): III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato - Quasi presto
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (version for 2 pianos): I. Morning Mood
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (version for 2 pianos): II. The Death of Aase
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (version for 2 pianos): III. Anitra's Dance
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (version for 2 pianos): IV. In the Hall of the Mountain King
Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545, "Sonata facile" (arr. for 2 pianos, EG 113): I. Allegro
Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545, "Sonata facile" (arr. for 2 pianos, EG 113): II. Andante
Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545, "Sonata facile" (arr. for 2 pianos, EG 113): III. Rondo: Allegretto grazioso
Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 (version for piano 4 hands): No. 1 in D minor: Allegro marcato
Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 (version for piano 4 hands): No. 2 in A major: Allegretto tranquillo e grazioso
Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 (version for piano 4 hands): No. 3 in G major: Allegro moderato alla marcia
Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 (version for piano 4 hands): No. 4 in D major: Allegro molto
3 Orchestral Pieces from Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op. 56 (version for 2 pianos): 3 Orchestral Pieces from Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op. 56: No. 3. Hommage March (version for 2 pianos)

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