Eva Knardahl

Grieg: The Complete Music for Piano [Box Set]

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AllMusic Review by

While no one but a Grieg completist would aspire to hear all 12 discs in this collection of the Norwegian composer's entire oeuvre for piano, anyone who loves the late Romantic composer's music will surely enjoy dipping into it now and again. For one thing, no composer in the second half of the nineteenth century could beat Grieg when it came to writing character pieces for the piano. In the 10 books of Lyric Pieces, the four anthologies of Norwegian folk songs and dances, and the many small collections of Humoresques and poetic tone pictures, Grieg proved himself a master at catching a mood or evoking an image in instantly memorable melodies, thoroughly enchanting harmonies, and absolutely irresistible rhythms. For another thing, no pianist in the second half of the twentieth century could beat the late Eva Knardahl (1927-2006) when it came to capturing the poetic essence of Grieg's appeal. Expressed through a supple tone and a strong technique, Knardahl's obvious love of the music radiates from every note of every performance. While older listeners may recall with fondness Walter Gieseking or Emil Giles' earlier Grieg recordings, no one would deny that Knardahl is more comfortable than they with the intimate scale of the music -- and that her performances are ultimately much more emotionally satisfying. With the inclusion of not only Knardahl's masterful performance of the final version of the Piano Concerto but also Love Derwinger's persuasive performance of the original version plus Derwinger's performances of the solo piano works Knardahl didn't record, this collection may not be mandatory for everyone who loves late Romantic piano music, but it is obligatory for anyone who loves Grieg -- even if to only dip into it now and again. Recorded mostly in the late '70s and early '80s, BIS' sound is amazingly clean, rich, and warm.

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Norwegian Folk Songs and Dances (25) for piano, Op. 17
1
0:55
2
0:50
3
0:45
4
1:23
5
1:38
6
1:31
7
0:51
8
0:39
9
1:29
10
1:09
11
1:08
12
1:32
13
1:04
14
1:22
15
1:39
16
1:30
17
1:16
18
2:10
19
0:47
20
0:30
21
0:39
22
0:57
23
1:21
24
0:50
25
1:25
Folkelivsbilleder (Scenes from Folk Life) (3) for piano, Op. 19
26
5:38
27
3:25
28
7:14
Album Leaves (4) for piano, Op. 28
29
2:19
30
2:42
31
2:51
32
4:33
Improvisations on Two Norwegian Folk Songs, for piano, Op. 29
33
3:16
34
4:53

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Norwegian Folk Songs (19) for piano, Op. 66
1
1:18
2
1:01
3
0:54
4
0:57
5
2:20
6
1:36
7
0:53
8
1:04
9
1:01
10
1:20
11
1:14
12
0:24
13
0:49
14
2:45
15
2:16
16
1:01
17
2:22
18
5:00
19
1:06
Song Transcriptions (6) for piano, Op. 41
20
2:02
21
3:15
22
3:16
23
1:20
24
5:06
25
2:37
Song Transcriptions (6) for piano, Op. 52
26
2:53
27
3:23
28
1:50
29
4:41
30
2:29
31
3:30

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) (17) for piano, Op. 72
1
2:44
2
2:18
3
2:49
4
4:00
5
1:07
6
1:16
7
4:35
8
2:47
9
1:09
10
1:23
11
2:30
12
1:15
13
1:52
14
2:09
15
2:19
16
1:29
17
1:39
Stimmungen (Moods) (7) for piano, Op. 73
18
1:40
19
2:48
20
5:33
21
2:55
22
2:03
23
3:17
24
4:25
Pieces (3) for piano, EG 110-112 (edited by Julius Röntgen)
25
4:53
26
2:02
27
5:15
blue highlight denotes track pick