CRITICAL ACCLAIM: EDVARD GRIEG Peer Gynt (Complete Mustc for Ibsen's Dramatic Poem)
The MHS Review 384 VOL. 11, NO. 6 • 1987
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George Chien, Fanfare (March/April 1986)
I've already expressed the opinion on these pages that the "G" rating that Grieg's Peer Gynt music has acquired over the years has insidiously affected the way that we receive--and, for that matter-play it. In fact, a reading of Ibsen's dramatic poem reveals that it rates at best a "PG" and more likely an "R."
(Complete Mustc for Ibsen's Dramatic Poem)
Toril Carlsen, Soprano; Vessa Hanssen, Mezzo-soprano;
Kare Bjprk.PY, Tenor; Asbjorn Hansil, Baritone; Knut Buen,
Hardanger violin; Oslo Philharmonic Chorus;
Oskar Raaum, Chorusmaster;
London Symphony Orchestra; Per Dreier, Conductor
I remember having nominated the Unicorn release from which Musical Heritage has licensed this reissue as one of my year-end Want List selections, but I couldn't recall which year.
With a little research I found it in Fanfare IV:2-our first-ever Want List. Can it have been that long ago? Can there be anyone with a modicum of interest in the music of Grieg who has not by now acquired the Unicorn set? I suppose so, but if so, for heaven's sake, don't wait any longer! With the original becoming more difficult to find, by all means run to the nearest mailbox and request--nay--beg, cajole, entreat, and implore the folks at MHS to rush you a copy of this wonderful album as soon as ever they can. You have been denying yourself for much too long already.
I've already expressed the opinion on these pages that the "G" rating that Grieg's Peer Gynt music has acquired over the years has insidiously affected the way that we receive--and, for that matter-play it. In fact, a reading of Ibsen's dramatic poem reveals that it rates at best a "PG" and more likely an "R." Much the same can be said of Grieg's music--a careful hearing reveals music that Is robust, sensitive, sensual, and dramatic--a far cry from kid's stuff. The album, as had been noted elsewhere, is completer than complete, incorporating all of the music ever used by Grieg for the play--certainly more than could have been used at any one performance. But it is fascinating stuff, and Dreier's performance with Norwegian singers and English instrumentalists is appropriate and convincing. Musical Heritage's production matches Unicorn's excellent sound. The only things missing from the original package are color on the jacket and photos of the musicians; compensation comes In the form of notes (Unicorn's originals) in type that is large enough to read comfortably. Bravo, MHS. Bravo Dreier. Bravo Grieg.