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Grand Prix - Grieg: Songs / Anne Sofie Von Otter, Bengt Forsberg


Release Date: 03/13/2007 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 1153996   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von OtterBengt Forsberg
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I shall be lucky if I review a more satisfying disc this year. Here we have a singer at the peak of her career glorying in what she can accomplish with her voice and deploying it in repertory she knows well and obviously loves. With performances of this kind of conviction Grieg in this celebratory year—emerges as a first-rank composer in the genre. For every mood, for every nuance of meaning, von Otter finds the right expression and has the wherewithal to fulfil her ambitious intentions.

Take the Haugtussa cycle, which Grieg considered his greatest achievement in this sphere of writing. Von Otter projects her imagination of the visionary herd-girl with absolute conviction, inflecting the text with a wonderful breadth and
Read more eloquence. She is no less successful in the German settings that follow. The sad depths of One day, my thought from Six Songs, Op. 48 also set memorably by Wolf in his Spanish Songbook, the hopelessness of Goethe's The time of roses (Op. 48 No. 5), a setting of great beauty are encompassed with unfettered ease, but so are the lighter pleasures of Lauf der Welt. Even the familiar A dream (Op. 48 No. 6) emerges new-minted in von Otter's daringly big-boned reading, where the engineers, as throughout, have—for once today—allowed a voice to ring out at full pressure without taking fright. In this group, as throughout, von Otter's readings are immeasurably enhanced by the high imagination of Bengt Forsberg's playing: he confirms that he is one of the most thoughtful and spontaneous accompanists around today—a free-ranging spirit like his Swedish compatriot.

The pair also breathe fresh life into the famous A swan, where von Otter, as often elsewhere, displays fine control of mezza voce. In the almost as familiar With a waterlily, another superb Ibsen setting, the questing spirit expressed in the music is marvellously seconded by the performers. Yet even then the pleasures aren't at an end. A superbly vigorous and urgent account of A Hope, a wistful, sweetly voiced and played account of Spring (another well-known piece)—extraordinary intensity in the second verse—the charming account of the teasing While I wait and a deeply poetic one of the justly renowned From Monte Pincio are just three more definitive interpretations towards the end of a recital that will unquestionably be one of my discs of the year and is a 'must' for any collection of songs, indeed a collection of any kind. It cannot help but afford pleasure. Don't miss it.

-- Alan Blyth, Gramophone Magazine [6/1993] Reviewing DG 437-521 Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Haugtussa, Op. 67 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 25 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
2.
Songs (6), Op. 48 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 14 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Songs (6), Op. 25: no 4, With a waterlily by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
4.
Songs (6), Op. 25: no 2, A swan by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
5.
Songs (5), Op. 26: no 1, Hope by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
6.
Melodies (12), Op. 33: no 2, Spring by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 5 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
7.
Songs (5), Op. 60: no 3, While I wait by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
8.
Children's songs (7), Op. 61: no 3, Farmyard song by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
9.
Melodies (12), Op. 33: no 5, Beside the river by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
10.
Romances (6), Op. 39: no 1, From Monte Pincio by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
11.
Heart's melodies, Op. 5: no 1, Two brown eyes by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Danish 
12.
Heart's melodies, Op. 5: no 3, I love thee by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863-1864; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Danish 
13.
Songs (6), Op. 49: no 6, Spring showers by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Norway 
Date of Recording: 3/1992 
Venue:  Musikal. Akademiens stora sal, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Danish 

Sound Samples

Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Det syng
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Veslemöy
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Blåbaer-li
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Möte
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Elsk
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Killingdans
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Vond dag
Haugtussa - Song Cycle, Op.67: Ved gjaetle - bekken
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Gruß, Op.48/1
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Dereinst, Gedanke mein, Op.48/2
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Lauf der Welt, Op.48/3
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Die verschwiegene Nachtigall,Op.48/4
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Zur Rosenzeit, Op.48/5
Sechs Lieder, Op.48: Ein Traum, Op.48/6
En Svane (A Swan), Op.25, No.2
Med en Vandilje (With a waterlily), Op.25, No.4
Fem Digte af John Paulsen op.26 - Five Poems by John Paulsen: 1. Et Hab (A Hope)
Våren (Last Spring), Op.33, No.2
Digte af Vilhelm Krag op.60 - Poems by Vilhelm Krag: 3. Mens jeg venter - While I wait
Children's Songs, Op.61: 3. Lok - Call (Farmyard Song)
Tolv Melodier il Digte af Aasmund Olavsson Vinje op.33 Twelve Songs after Poems by Aasmind Olavsson Vinje: 5. Langs ei A - Along a Stream
Fra Monte Pincio (From Monte Pincio), Op.39, No.1
"Hjertets Melodier" af H.C. Andersen op.5 - "The Heart's Melodies" by Hans Christian Andersen: 1. To brune Ojne - Two Brown Eyes
"Hjertets Melodier" af H.C. Andersen op.5 - "The Heart's Melodies" by Hans Christian Andersen: 3. Jeg elsker Dig - I Love You
Seks Digte af Holger Drachmann op.49 - Six poems by H.Drachmann: 6. Forarsregn - Spring Rain

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