Katarina Karnéus / Julius Drake

Grieg: Songs

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AllMusic Review by

The musical world has not lacked for singers to interpret the songs of Edvard Grieg, starting with the composer's wife Nina and moving through the sublime Kirsten Flagstad to the sensual Anne Sofie von Otter. Grieg's songs have been well served by sopranos and mezzo-sopranos. In her second disc for Hyperion, Swedish mezzo Katarina Karnéus performs 25 of Grieg's 180 songs. Some are nearly folk songs sung in Norwegian; some are true art songs in German; but all are deeply expressive, highly emotional, and, in these performances, entirely successful. As she had shown in her previous all-Sibelius recital, Karnéus has a rich, plush voice with a polished technique and a nuanced tone, plus keen appreciation of the range of Grieg's music. Accompanied by English pianist Julius Drake, Karnéus captures the ecstasy of Gruss, the sentimentality of En svane, the restless longing of En Digters Bryst, and the transporting fulfillment of Jeg elsker Dig. While longtime Grieg aficionados will already have favorite recordings of these songs, they will surely welcome another as heartfelt and lovely as this one. As usual, Hyperion's digital sound is natural and effortless.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 25
1
2:33
2
2:29
3
1:50
4
2:19
5
1:54
6
2:57
Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 48
7
1:13
8
3:09
9
1:41
10
3:48
11
3:12
12
2:28
Haugtussa (The Mountain Maid), song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 67
13
4:06
14
2:50
15
3:02
16
4:18
17
2:46
18
2:04
19
2:55
20
6:23
Hjertets melodier (Melodies of the Heart) (4) for voice & piano, Op. 5
21
1:16
22
1:34
23
1:36
24
1:32
25
3:47
blue highlight denotes track pick