Grieg: Peer Gynt, Op 23 (At the Wedding; Dance of the Mountain King's Daughter); Six Orchestral Songs; Two Lyric Pieces, Op 68; The Mountain Thrall, Op 32; Norwegian Dances, Op 35

Reviewed on Thu 17 Mar, 2016

Two extracts from Peer Gynt and the Norwegian Dances top and tail the programme in rousingly idiomatic fashion (the latter beams with a joyous spontaneity that recalls Barbirolli's classic account – and there can be no higher praise in my book!).

The delights come thick and fast on this, the fifth and final instalment in Eivind Aadland's treasurable Grieg series for Audite. Soprano Camilla Tilling is on radiant form in the sequence of six orchestral songs, which juxtaposes familiar numbers from Peer Gynt ('Solveig's Song' and 'Solveig's Cradle Song') alongside lesser-known gems such as From Monte Pincio and Henrik Wergeland. Both here and in the duskily beautiful The Mountain Thrall (most sensitively delivered by baritone Tom Erik Lie) Aadland and his exemplary Cologne band tender meltingly lovely support. As for the purely orchestral items, two extracts from Peer Gynt and the Norwegian Dances top and tail the programme in rousingly idiomatic fashion (the latter beams with a joyous spontaneity that recalls Barbirolli's classic account – and there can be no higher praise in my book!), and we also get two Lyric Pieces, 'Abend im Hochgebirge' and 'An der Wiege', both from Volume 8, Op 68, and exquisitely realised here. Audite's ideally airy, superbly realistic SACD sonics set the seal on another unmissable treat. Hats off to all involved in this superlative enterprise!
–Andrew Achenbach