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Ballad for Edvard Grieg

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Jan 15, 2008)
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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Dubbed: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Naxos of America
  • DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011GDI10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #968,468 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely collection of Grieg's more famous piano pieces by one of the finest Grieg interpreters of our time. Leif Ove Andsnes' recordings of these works stand comparison with the best there is. The high point here is undoubtedly the introspective Ballade in G Minor. It manages to eclipse even the more famous A Minor Piano Concerto which comes in an earnest, straightforward reading with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Ole Kristian Ruud. Both were recorded at the Grieghallen in Bergen in 2007. They come with the 3 encores listed above - Humoresque, Evening in the Mountains, and March of the Trolls. My favourites however are the 6 Lyric Pieces recorded separately in 2001 on Grieg's own vintage Steinway at his home in Troldhaugen. (The same recording as on the CD album)

The accompanying 56-minute documentary is not so much a Grieg biography as Andsnes' personal search for a better understanding of the genesis of the G Minor Ballade, a piece which he had never performed in public before. Although its genesis stemmed largely from the deaths of Grieg's parents and of his only child, Andsnes takes us back through earlier events in Grieg's life, leading us on a leisurely tour of various European cities (Leipzig, Rome, Copenhagen, London) which played major roles in Grieg's musical career. The documentary is narrated in English with Andsnes speaking in a mix of Norwegian and German. Optional subtitles are provided. Both the documentary and the 2007 Grieghallen concert are in 1.78:1 widescreen (enhanced for widescreen TV). Sound is in LPCM Stereo (CD quality), Dolby Digital 5.0 and DTS 5.0. Picture quality is excellent.

The earlier recording of the 6 Lyric Pieces is in standard 1.33:1 full screen.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD plays for about 140 minutes, starting with a lengthy biographical tribute to Grieg. Then the actual musical program starts consisting of segments of concerts recorded in three places. I thoroughly enjoyed Leif Ove Andsnes' passionate rendition of the compositions he chose to play. I would have given this DVD 5 stars for this portion. He plays the Ballad in G minor, the Piano Concerto in A minor with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud, and a nice selection of Lyric Pieces with warmth and obvious love for the music. What I enjoyed somewhat less is the biographical section which starts the program. It was rather uneven in quality and, in my view, could use some editing. However, the concert alone is worth the price of the DVD and I will certainly listen to that portion again.
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Format: DVD
This new DVD from EMI with Leif Ove Andsnes playing the music of Edvard Grieg would make an excellent gift for any young piano student or for yourself, if you like Grieg or great pianism. The sound and picture quality are superior, and the camera work provides many shots of Andsnes' keyboard technique. Andsnes has already made a critically acclaimed studio recording of the Piano Concerto, but the live performance presented here, with the Bergen Philharmonic under Ole Kristian Ruud, is even better. The element of spontaneity adds warmth and the DVD sound allows you to hear every nuance in the score. The only slight drawback is that you need to go to the menu to find the titles of the three encores Andsnes plays (three Lyric Pieces). The performance of the Ballad is equally splendid, certainly on par with the historic recording by Artur Rubinstein in the 1950s (available on RCA). In addition, there is a charming recital of six Lyric Pieces on Grieg's own great old Steinway in Grieg's beautiful home. The documentary at the beginning of the disc may be a bit wearing for some, but I liked the easy-going pace of this journey in the footsteps of Grieg, and Andsnes is a friendly guide here as in the recital in Grieg's house. The shot of Andsnes on top of a mountain in Norway playing a piano is a bit of nice symbolism which must have cost EMI or whoever paid for the helicoptor a nice piece of change. All of the wonderful video footage of waterfalls and fjords will be nice to watch when the temperature soars this summer.
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Through this and other recordings and performances, Leif Ove Andsnes has established himself as a preeminent Grieg pianist of the modern era. The Grieg tour is a very interesting look at the places, people and events that shaped the young student and composer. The concert recording of the Piano Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra at Grieg Hall in Bergen and the Lyric pieces performed at Troldhaugen are simply riveting. A must-have for Grieg fans!
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I had listened to Leif Ove Andsnes CD of this great music, but this DVD does a wonderful job of tracing the life and musical genius of Grieg. Andsnes goes to original manuscripts of the Ballad in G and follows Grieg's footsteps throughout Europe. The music is outstanding -- Andsnes is an unbelievably gifted piantist.
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