A recording of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, is hardly a logical choice for a young pianist looking to make a splash, but Spain's Javier Perianes has done just that here. Perianes' performances of the Grieg concerto have gained a good deal of attention in live performances in Britain, and now international audiences can learn what the fuss is about. His reading indeed adds something new to the chain of interpretation. It treats the big flourish at the beginning almost as an introduction: it is delivered with suitable power, but Perianes skillfully uses it as a springboard into a realm of melodic freedom. His Grieg is all Chopin, very little Beethoven, and he holds together a performance that could easily have become diffuse. This is true even in the folk-dance-influenced finale, which in the hands of Perianes and the BBC Symphony under Sakari Oramo takes on a kind of gentle charm. In the group of lyric pieces that rounds out the program Perianes is even more in his element, and he finds a level of seriousness in these works that most performances miss. Beautifully recorded live at the Barbican Centre, this is a cornerstone Grieg recording for the 2010s.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Piano Concerto in A minor|