Grieg: Music for String Orchestra

Reviewed on Thu 30 May, 2013

Volume Two in Eivind Aadland's Grieg survey for Audite concentrates on the works for string orchestra, of which the most justly popular remains the gorgeously tuneful and vernally fresh Holberg Suite. Both the Two Elegiac Melodies, Op.34, and Two Melodies, Op 53, are in fact reworkings of earlier song settings, but Grieg clothes them with such idiomatic mastery for strings as to make you think they could not possibly have been conceived any other way. Throughout, Aadland draws the most engagingly idiomatic, big-hearted and sumptuously alert response from his Cologne players, and Audite's engineering is of demonstration quality, particularly on the SACD layer. A joyous treat.
–Andrew Achenbach