The excellence of Bjarte Engeset's Grieg recordings speaks for itself. This disc contains all of Grieg's music for string orchestra, plus the Lyric Suite. As with previous releases in this series, the performances are outstanding. Much of this music is slow and nostalgic, and Engeset paces it perfectly. You might not want to listen to all of it at a sitting, but then Grieg didn't either. In the Holberg Suite, it's particularly enjoyable to hear the Prelude and concluding Rigaudon not taken too quickly, but with a resilient, athletic sense of rhythm that propels the music forward.
There's a tendency today, perhaps as a result of the period-performance craze, to make too much of the music's Baroque inspiration, racing through it as if it were the real thing (not that Baroque music was actually played that way either, but that's another story). Engeset lets the music's romantic pedigree shine through. As for the Lyric Suite, each movement is well-characterized, with the March of the Dwarfs bringing the program to a satisfying conclusion. The sonics are terrific too.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com