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Grieg - Olav Trygvason / Orchestral Songs

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-1531 SACD
Release date2006-11-15
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time77:38

International Record Review: outstanding; Klassik Heute: outstanding; Music Web International. Record of the Month July 2007.

Grieg is mainly thought of as one of the great lyrical composers, but for a long time he struggled to develop a dramatic side to his music. One result was the three scenes from the projected opera Olav Trygvason, a collaboration with the poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Grieg and Bjørnson wanted to develop a national, Norwegian opera, avoiding the Wagnerian influences predominant at the time. Nevertheless, as the Olav Trygvason fragment shows and as Grieg himself admitted, Wagner's pull was too strong to be entirely resisted; perhaps understandably, given that the subject matter - the struggle of the old Norse Gods and their followers against the Christian faith - is rather Wagnerian in itself.

Another Bjørnson collaboration, At the Cloister Gate, is also operatic in conception, but in a musical language more clearly Grieg's own. The disc continues with the Six Orchestral Songs, in which the composer is firmly back on familiar ground. These were orchestrated by Grieg himself, not with the intent to form a cycle, but simply because he himself rated them highly: from Solveig's two intensely moving songs from Peer Gynt to Last Spring, sometimes regarded as one of Grieg’s finest songs.

The songs - including Johan Halvorsen's orchestration of Ved Rondane - are interpreted by soprano Marita Solberg, one of Norway's most promising young singers. Other eminent soloists include Solveig Kringelborn and Ingebjørg Kosmo, who join the Bergen PO and Ole Kristian Ruud on this the final disc in the team's acclaimed Grieg survey. Reviewers have focused on the familiarity of the interpreters with the music (Gramophone: 'Bergen musicians have lived with these scores since their creation and all the performances here have a relaxed, idiomatic naturalness in their virtuosity’) as well as the superior recordings, all done in surround sound and released as Hybrid SACDs (BBC Music Magazine: 'The engineering, whether heard via SACD (surround and stereo options) or CD stereo, is exemplary in every way, conveying the warm acoustic of Bergen's Grieg Hall with thrilling presence.')
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 15.95
Extra material for download
  Composer: Grieg, Edvard
  Olav Trygvason, opera fragment, Op.50 (Text: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson) 34:07
01 Scene 1 07:46 $ 1.63 USD
02 Scene 2 14:59 $ 3.15 USD
03 Scene 3 11:22 $ 2.39 USD
04 Foran Sydens Kloster (At the Cloister Gate) Op.20 10:15 $ 2.15 USD
  Six Songs with Orchestra 28:33
05 I. Solveigs Sang (Solveig’s Song), Op.23 No.19 05:27 $ 1.14 USD
06 II. Solveigs Vuggevise (Solveig’s Cradle Song), Op.23
04:00 $ 0.84 USD
07 III. Fra Monte Pincio (From Monte Pincio), Op.39 No.1 04:58 $ 1.04 USD
08 IV. En Svane (A Swan), Op.25 No.2 02:21 $ 0.49 USD
09 V. Våren (Last Spring), Op.33 No.2 08:17 $ 1.74 USD
10 VI. Henrik Wergeland, Op.58 No.3 03:30 $ 0.74 USD
11 Ved Rondane (In the Hills), Op.33 No.9 03:03 $ 0.64 USD
  Album total 77:38
ChoirBergen Vocal Ensemble
Voci Nobili
OrchestraBergen Philharmonic Orchestra
ComposerGrieg, Edvard
ConductorRuud, Ole Kristian
SopranoKringelborn, Solveig
Solberg, Marita
BaritoneHalstein Moe, Trond
Mezzo-sopranoKosmo, Ingebjörg

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