Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Grieg, Edvard. (1843-1907) Orchestral Works, Volume IV.

New acquisition.
Bought in Autumn 2016.
First listen: 8-11-2016.
Label: Audite.
Recording dates: December 2013 & February 2014.
Recording venue:  Köln Philharmonie, Germany.
Recording engineer: Mark Hohn.
Running time: 64:40.
Classical relevance: Might be of interest.

Works performed:
Symphony in C minor.
Piano concerto in A minor.

Works performed:
Herbert Schuch, Piano.
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Eivind Aadland.

Two warhorses of this composer, of which the piano concerto is heard to distraction. One of the pieces I have a hard time to listen to, mainly because the work is treated as a sort of bombastic Brahms concerto, and never seen as a work written by Grieg. So although the music is still valid as a fine composition, conductor and soloists most of the time fall down the pitfalls and play it in a totally distorted way. The soloist hammering away with all his might, the conductor helping him by pounding statements underlining the bombastic nature and both rob the work of all gentility. That happens also on this recording, albeit there are poetic moments in which Schuch avoids the traps set for him, but not enough the save the work as a whole. Another chance blown out of the window.
The Symphony in C minor is treated as an undernourished child, as if the first and the last attempt to write a symphony is not worth your attention. It is one of the better takes, but I think the lightness of the first movement, is underplayed by the literal acceptance of the  "Allegro molto moderato" which is far to molto in this case. Also the secondary melody lines are treated in the same way. The "Adagio"is way to slow, and turns almost into a lament. The third movement fares better but overall this is also a case of negligent behavior, and the acceptance of previous interpretations as valid.  Aadland did not have a mind of his own in this respect. A pity, it would have made this otherwise remarkable series of recordings exceptional. As it is I deem this recording good, but mediocre in the interpretation. Another thing that irritates me about the series as a complete set is the fact that every recording is different, but all have their flaws. It ranges from state of the art with some problems, to merely good. It is all recorded in the same venue, so I am flabbergasted why an engineer like Mark Hohn, could not find the ideal spot and keep to the settings. even during recording sessions there is manipulation of the sound as a whole. Down points for that too. But not to be too negative, most of the stuff I hear is expertly done, better as in many other cases on different labels. So as such I am quite happy with them. But when there is cause to grief I must be allowed to utter, and this is what I do.



Salvatore, Giovanni. (c.1610-1688) Works for Harpsichord and Organ, plus a Missa.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 22-11-2017. Label: Glossa. Recording dates: October 1998 & June 1999...