"In the short descriptions of him [Grieg] on the net, you'll find that he was 'a lyrical nationalistic poet, writing miniatures'. But as I never tire of demonstrating, he was very, very much more than that… His musical mind in general was very much focused on colour, and I think even today his sense of orchestral colouring is too little acknowledged… Of course, these pieces can be played by chamber orchestra, but I think a performance with sixty strings, focusing on dynamics and contrasts of colour, can really result in something very special."
This boxed set of Grieg's complete orchestral works is a celebration of the composer's rich and multi-faceted aesthetic. Grieg was an idealistic humanist whose music and writings underlined a harmony between humans and nature. The sense of nostalgia and 'postcard lyricism' often associated with him belies the wild energy also present in his music – its primeval force, pessimistic emotions and tempestuous Romanticism. Thanks to Bjarte Engeset's carefully researched and widely admired performances, Grieg's complex musical universe can here be appreciated in full.
Listen to an excerpt from Olav Trygvason (Vol. 6)
Listen to an excerpt from From Holberg's Time, Op. 40: I Prelude (Vol. 7)
About the Artists
The Norwegian conductor Bjarte Engeset has been music director of the Tromsø Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, artistic director of Northern Norway’s Northern Lights Festival and Opera Nord, and permanent guest conductor of the Flemish Radio Orchestra. Since 2007 he has served as chief conductor of Sweden’s Dala Sinfonietta. His acclaimed recordings for Naxos include works by Svendsen, Tveitt, Grieg, Sibelius and Sinding.
The Naxos and BIS record labels have brought The Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to a worldwide audience and several of its recordings have gained international awards, such as the Cannes Classical Award and Diapason d’Or. The MSO’s recording of Berwald’s Symphonies, under the direction of Sixten Ehrling, was nominated for a Gramophone Award, and a release of music by the American composer Charles Ives [Naxos 8.559370] was Editor’s Choice/Recording of the Month in October 2008, also in Gramophone.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its recordings, receiving two Diapason d’Or de l’année awards for Symphonic Music (Denève/Roussel 2007; Denève/Debussy 2012) and eight GRAMMY® Awards nominations over the last decade. Over 200 releases are available, including the complete symphonies of Sibelius (Gibson), Prokofiev (Järvi), Glazunov (Serebrier), Nielsen and Martinů (Thomson), Roussel (Denève) and the major orchestral works of Debussy (Denève). The RSNO is one of Scotland’s National Performing Companies, supported by the Scottish government.