The wonderful regional orchestras of Germany, from Bavaria, Dresden, and in the present case Cologne, broadcast a richness and intensity of expression that is sometimes skirted by the slicker high-voltage bands in Berlin, Vienna, and London. You can certainly hear it here, in these passionate and gutsyRead more performances. It helps that the Cologne forces are led by the charismatic young Norwegian conductor Eivind Aadland, who was a violinist, and one of the last student of Menuhin, before turning his attention to the podium.
This is Volume 1 of Audite’s projected set of five CDs of the complete orchestral music of Grieg, with these same forces, all derived from live broadcasts. I can’t say that there are any revelations in these readings, but they are immensely enjoyable, and the recorded sound is excellent, full-bodied, very even across the frequency spectrum, and very natural. The many solo appearances in the scores allow for demonstrations of the depth of the orchestra’s musicianship in a vivid way. The only times the performances seem lacking vis-à-vis the big boys is in the most virtuosic passages, most notably in the crescendo and accelerando of “Hall of the Mountain King,” but even here I prefer the earthiness of this reading to the slickness of Karajan, Ormandy, et al. This is my new go-to album for these sturdy warhorses.
A Great SeriesJanuary 24, 2014By James C. (Baton Rouge, LA)See All My Reviews"Collect each release in this series and you'll understand why Grieg was so beloved in his time and respected by other musicians then and since. Superb performances in superb sound - without much competition in most of the repertoire presented."Report Abuse
Outstanding PerformanceAugust 21, 2012By Richard H. (Glendale, AZ)See All My Reviews"These are very familiar works that anyone who has watched "LooneyTunes" has heard many times. Peer is probably the most borrowed piece of music ever written. This is an excellent performance by Aadland and co. Maybe even the best I've heard which is no small statement when you consider how many I have heard. Heartily recommend this recording to anyone who likes Peer Gynt."Report Abuse