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Ballad For Edvard Grieg

Leif Ove Andsnes Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $16.28 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Ballad For Edvard Grieg + Grieg: Lyric Pieces + Beethoven: Piano Concertos, No. 1 & 3
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000SOBU8Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,670 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro Molto Moderato
2. II. Adagio
3. III. Allegro Moderato Molto E Marcato - Andante Maestoso
4. Ballade In G Minor Op.24
5. Op.57 No.6 (Book VI): Heimweh ('Homesickness')
6. OP.62 No.6 (Book VII): Hjemad ('Homeward')
7. Op.68 No.5 (Book IX): Badniat ('Cradle Song')
8. Op.65 No.6 (Book VIII): Bryllupsdag Pa Troldhaugen ('Wedding Day At Troldhaugen')
9. Op.68 No.4 (Book IX): Aften Pa Hojfeldet ('Evening In the Mountains')
10. Op.71 No.7 (Book X): Afterklang ('Rememberances')

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Released in honor of the centenary of Grieg's death, this is a loving tribute to Norway's greatest composer by a compatriot and renowned interpreter of his music. The album includes reissues of Andsnes' award-winning recording of the "Concerto" with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Lyric Pieces, recorded in Grieg's home on his own piano, and a new recording of the "Ballade Op. 24," an unfamiliar piece Andsnes only recently added to his repertoire and is performing in public for the first time this season. Dark, brooding, and melancholy, it was written when Grieg, despite his growing international fame, was facing personal and creative crises. Cast in the form of a large-scale set of variations, it is essentially a series of almost improvisatory character pieces, related but highly contrasting in style, sound, texture, and mood. It is technically extremely demanding, especially as it builds toward its spectacular final climax. The Lyric Pieces, composed throughout most of Grieg's life, are charming, descriptive miniatures; they vary in style from impressionism to folk-music, and in mood from the pensive, poetic "Homesickness" to the cheerful, robust dance, "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen." The "Concerto," written in 1868 when Grieg was only 25, is the epitome of unabashed romanticism and one of the repertoire's enduring favorites. Though sometimes dismissed as unsophisticated and naïve, its qualities emerge clearly in the right hands, and Andsnes' performance could hardly be bettered. He commands the keyboard with natural, unobtrusive virtuosity and an infinite variety of touch, color, and nuance. The melodies sing; cascades of runs ripple and flow with crystal clarity; tone and expression can change in an instant. Mightily abetted by the wonderful orchestra, he makes the music sound wistful, dreamy, and delicate, or grand and heroic; it never loses its elegance and sentiment never turns into sentimentality. --Edith Eisler

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performance Disappointing CD September 22, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Imagine my surprise when I received this CD, and after removing the shrink wrap discovered that 9 of the 10 tracks or 2 of the 3 works on this CD were re-issues. The Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16 is a reissue from 2002 and the 6 Lyric Pieces were originally issued on a wonderful disc in 2001. Until I looked at the notes inside the jewel case I thought these were new performances. Shame on EMI Classics for not telling its customers on the outside of the jewel case that the Piano Concerto and the Lyric Pieces were previously released. By the way both CD's are currently still in print. So you know the Lyric Pieces is catalogue number 7243 5 57296 2 0 and the Piano Concerto is catalogue number 7243 5 57562 2 0. And the recording industry wonders why people share music.Ballad For Edvard Grieg
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Ballade!! November 18, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Grieg's Ballade has to be one of the most neglected near-masterpieces ever written. Why do I say a "near-masterpiece"? B/C up until the coda it contains some of his most poignant piano writing ever. Unfortunately, when the coda begins the music turns garish, with empty virtuoso rhetoric ruining what would have been one of Grieg's major masterpieces. But with the final closing measures of the piece (an almost identical repeat of the opening theme), the piece ends as beautifully as it began.

Still, it's a piece worth hearing, and in quite an evocative performance and recording such as this one by Andsnes, you almost overlook the music's shortcomings. I almost wish that Andsnes (or another composer) would re-write the ending just to keep the music on the same high level of inspiration.

I too was a bit disappointed that EMI decided to reissue previous material to supplement the time on this disc. As it is, the Ballade, spendidly played as it is, is the only truly new recording. Couldn't Andsnes have recorded something new?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A World Class CD January 28, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Leif Ove Andsnes is a world class concert pianist and his Ballad for Edvard Grieg perfectly showcases his style. Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor is exceptional. The clarity of the runs and dynamic performance are inspring. But the Ballad in G Minor is the best. Andsnes studied Grieg's drafts of this piece and his life, and clearly has tremdous feeling for this work. It is haunting, intense and beautiful. Andsnes has honored his fellow Norwegian very well. Best classical CD I've purchased.
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