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Katsaris Plays Grieg

Grieg / Leipzig Radio Sym Orch / Neumann
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Piano 21   Catalog #: 28   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
Conductor:  Horst Neumann
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



GRIEG Piano Concerto in a 1. Peer Gynt: Morning Mood. Impressions: Hommage à Chopin. Lyric Pieces: Selections Cyprien Katsaris (pn); 1 Horst Neumann, cond; Leipzig RO PIANO21 028-A (75:03)


Grieg’s piano music (other than his Read more concerto, which has been a staple of the repertoire for years—it was Rachmaninoff’s favorite concerto!) has for too long languished in obscurity. Though the current recital does not touch upon the least-known works of his oeuvre , it does show off some of the best of it in the Lyric Pieces . These works are, in a sense, the Norwegian counterparts to the character pieces of Schumann and the Songs Without Words of Mendelssohn; and just like these latter works, the Lyric Pieces have never garnered the attention that they deserve.


They have found a good advocate in Cyprien Katsaris, who has long been a champion of this kind of little-played repertoire. As most of the performances on the current disc were recorded live, the sound is sometimes fine, sometimes abominable. This, however, does not distract from the simple way that Katsaris caresses the instrument, subtly capturing the mood of each of these tiny gems—from the quirkiness of the Little Bird , op. 43/4, to the frantic climaxes of the March of the Dwarfs , op. 54/3. His way with the simple Arietta , op. 12/1, is a bit too fussy for my taste; I much prefer the way Emil Gilels lets the piece shape itself without getting in its way. Regardless, one can hear Katsaris having fun, bringing out the character of each little masterpiece, which consequently allows us to simply revel in the music. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of playing these pieces, and Katsaris succeeds on multiple levels.


His way with the concerto, unfortunately, is less successful because of the way in which he seems to want the piece to be something that it is not. The dramatic opening sounds a bit too rushed, taking away some of its inherent drama, while the following low A is slammed out and held as though the climax has already been reached. There are nice moments throughout, but there is also a bit too much stop-and-go motion—something that works well, perhaps, in concert, but not in repeated listening on recordings. The other two small pieces, the “Morning Mood” from Peer Gynt and the Hommage à Chopin , are both given fine readings, the former for its simplicity and pathos, the latter for its breathtaking virtuosity. For the Lyric Pieces my top recommendation is still for one of the most impressive discs that Emil Gilels, or any pianist, ever recorded (DG Originals 449721). For the Piano Concerto, one of the most exciting performances—also recorded live—is Michelangeli’s recording with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (BBC Legends 4043). For another recommendable performance of the Lyric Pieces , Katsaris’s recording will complement these performances nicely.


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lyric Pieces (8), Book 1, Op. 12: no 1, Arietta by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Lyric Pieces (8), Book 2, Op. 38: no 2, Folksong by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54: no 5, Scherzo by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
4.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 6, In Springtime by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
5.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 4, Little Bird by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
6.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 5, Erotic by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
7.
Lyric Pieces (8), Book 2, Op. 38: no 7, Waltz by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 2 Secs. 
8.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 6, Op. 57: no 6, Homesickness by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
9.
Lyric Pieces (8), Book 1, Op. 12: no 5, Folksong by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10.
Lyric Pieces (7), Book 4, Op. 47: no 4, Halling by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1888; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54: no 3, Troll's March by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Norway 
Date of Recording: 05/30/1986 
Venue:  Live  Festspillenen I Bergen, Håkonshallen 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
12.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54: no 4, Notturno by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Norway 
Date of Recording: 07/21/2001 
Venue:  Live  Mannes Keyboard Festival, Mannes College 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13.
Lyric Pieces (7), Book 4, Op. 47: no 7, Elegy by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1888; Norway 
Date of Recording: 03/25/1975 
Venue:  Maison de la Radio, Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
14.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 2, Lonely Wanderer by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Herkulessaal, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
15.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 1, Butterfly by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Herkulessaal, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
16.
Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71: no 1, Once upon a Time by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Herkulessaal, Munich 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
17.
Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71: no 7, Remembrances by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Herkulessaal, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
18.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43: no 3, In My Native Land by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/28/1975 
Venue:  Live  Université de Paris 2 - Panthéon-Assas 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
19.
Peer Gynt Suite no 1, Op. 46: no 1, Prelude "Morning" by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875/1888; Norway 
Date of Recording: 02/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Herkulessaal, Munich 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
20.
Stimmungen, Op. 73: no 5, Studie "Hommage à Chopin" by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Norway 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1998 
Venue:  Live  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
21.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris (Piano)
Conductor:  Horst Neumann
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
Date of Recording: 10/09/1977 
Venue:  Unesco-Tribüne, Konzert der Laureaten 

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