Grieg: Complete Symphonic Works, Volume 3 – In Autumn, Op 11; Lyric Suite, Op 54; Klokkeklang, Op 54 No 6; Old Norwegian Melody with Variations, Op 51; Three Orchestral Pieces from 'Sigurd Jorsalfar', Op 56

Reviewed on Tue 03 Sep, 2013

Eivind Aadland's Grieg survey for Audite just goes from strength to strength. These are exceptionally eloquent performances, featuring playing of exquisite poise and thrilling conviction from the Cologne orchestra which has in turn been captured with almost startling realism and dynamic impact by the WDR microphones. Aadland genuinely does possess special gifts in this entrancing repertoire; indeed, Grieg's vernally touching inspiration emerges as freshly as the day it was conceived when given such urgently communicative and intrepidly characterful treatment. Cards on the table: I don't think I've ever encountered more sheerly affectionate, imaginatively shaped accounts of either In Autumn or the criminally underrated Old Norwegian Melody with Variations, while Aadland's memorably poetic and intensely warm-hearted way with the adorable Lyric Suite even put me in mind of Sir John Barbirolli's legendary mid-1960s version with the Hallé (long my touchstone in this piece). A outstanding release, whichever way you look at it.
–Andrew Achenbach