Grieg: The Complete Piano Music
Performers: Eva Knardahl, piano; *Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Kjell Ingebretsen; **Kjell Ingebretsen, piano; Love Derwinger, piano; ***Norrköping Symphony Orchestra / Jun’ichi Hirokami (The recordings with Eva Knardahl have been digitally re-mastered for this collection)
Edvard Grieg: Lyric Pieces, Books I-X; Four Piano Pieces, Op.1; Poetic Tone Pictures, Op.3; Humoresques, Op.6; Piano Sonata in E minor, Op.7; Funeral March in Memory of Rikard Nordraak; 25 Norwegian Folk-songs and Dances; Pictures from Folk-life, Op.19; Four Album Leaves, Op.28; Improvisations on Two Norwegian Folk-songs, Op.29; Ballade in G minor, Op.24; Peer Gynt Suites No.1, Op.46 & No.2, Op.55; Three Orchestral Pieces from ‘Sigurd Jorsalfar’, Op.56; Holberg Suite, Op.40; Two Elegiac Melodies, Op.34; Waltz-Caprices, Op.37; Two Pieces from ‘Olav Trygvason’, Op.50; Piano Transcriptions of Own Songs I & II; Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances), Op.72; Moods, Op.73; Three Piano Pieces, EG110-EG112; *Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16 (final version); **Norwegian Dances, Op.35 (Eva Knardahl), piano
Eva Knardahl's recordings of Grieg's music for solo piano – here completed with recordings by Love Derwinger of the works unpublished during Grieg's lifetime – have been a milestone ever since they were first released on LP at the end of the 1970s. The Norwegian pianist's interpretations of the music of her countryman blew away decades worth of cobwebs and caused many to reconsider an oeuvre of which one part was so well-known as to risk becoming banal and another was all but unknown. At the time of the first release one reviewer likened Knardahl to ‘an Alicia de Larrocha of the North, who makes her instrument ring out like a cathedral’. When the recordings were re-released on CD, another wrote that her performances ‘suggest that there's a lot more to Grieg's several hundred little pieces than pretty lyricism ... She brings a forthrightness and color to the Norwegian master – even a countrified robustness – that few have suspected is there. Knardahl's performance of the famous Piano Concerto is a rendering full of grandeur, poetry and power. She can really stand comparison with any of her rivals.’ And these recordings still hold their place in the catalogue. As late as in March 2006, the BBC 3 programme CD Review made her recording of the Holberg Suite their top choice in the series Building a Library, and a recent near-ecstatic review on US website ‘All Music Guide’ claims that ‘everyone ought to hear pianist Eva Knardahl kick the stuffing out of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No.1’. Now is the chance to do just that, while starting to build that library at the same time. And then to begin exploring the rest of 13 hours worth of music – digitally re-mastered for this occasion – guided by a 40-page essay (in English, Norwegian, French and German) by internationally recognized Grieg expert Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe.