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John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, February 2014

The music is tuneful and appealing and there’s no doubting the love and dedication that the soloist and his orchestra have for Grieg’s work. The Tromsø Chamber Orchestra sounds glorious and they give of their best throughout. They are certainly a formidable groups of musicians. Kraggerud’s performances are magnificent and his bright, clean tone always shines through. This is music making of the very highest order.

The quality of the recording is exceptional. Balance between soloist and orchestra is excellent and the sound has an appealing, natural warmth. This is—of its type—a magnificent disc…

This is in essence a novelty disc, brilliantly executed and very well produced. It makes a refreshing change from listening to yet another recording of a warhorse concerto from the standard repertoire. Naxos must be applauded for their continuing mission to bring something new to the table. I am looking forward to hearing what else this superb team may have in the pipeline for us. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review




WQXR (New York), July 2013

Edvard Grieg’s reputation in orchestral music centers on a couple of familiar warhorses—the Piano Concerto, the Peer Gynt Suite—but he never wrote a violin concerto. So it’s with much curiosity that we receive this new recording by Henning Kraggerud and the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra. The Norwegian violinist (along with arranger colleague Bernt Simen Lund) expands Grieg’s three violin sonatas into full-blown concertos, each with arrangements that exercise restraint (so as to never overpower the violin) and also a range of color and variety (the use of four woodwinds with strings was the right idea). Particularly compelling is the third concerto, which comes off as heroic, vibrant and seductive. © WQXR (New York)



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, July 2013

Norwegian virtuoso violinist Henning Kraggerud and the Tromsö Chamber Orchestra (TCO) give outstanding accounts of these “concertos”. With music this appealing it’s highly likely other recordings will follow, but considering Kraggerud’s inbred feeling for it and role as co-arranger, these performances should remain definitive for some time to come. On the basis of this release, the TCO is a class act, and every one of its…members a virtuoso in their own right.

…the recordings are excellent projecting a suitably proportioned soundstage in a nourishing acoustic. The balance between soloist and tutti is ideal, and Kraggerud’s silky violin tone shown off to best advantage. The instrumental timbre is exceptionally natural with airy highs and clean bass with no hint of overhang in the low strings. © 2013 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Duncan Druce
Gramophone, July 2013

The arrangements, clever and imaginative, are for the most part strikingly successful; the intense drama of the opening Allegro of Op 45 is well served by the sustaining power of the strings, and the colourful sonorities heard in the finales of Opp 8 and 13 accentuate the verve and energy of these ebullient pieces. And the orchestration of the first page of Op 45’s Andante as a flute solo sounds really beautiful.

…Kraggerud…has provided its players with some very attractive repertoire and they clearly respond with enthusiasm, producing performances that are precise, alert and expressive…thoroughly recommended. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, July 2013

…the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra…show themselves to good advantage in this premier recording of Three Concertos for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, imaginatively arranged from Edvard Grieg’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano…Kraggerud and Lund…judiciously added woodwind parts to the string orchestra to give the concerto versions added appeal and character…and filled out the orchestration to account for the sustaining effect of the piano pedals in the original. The results seem natural and idiomatic, as well as pleasing to the ear. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




Edward Bhesania
The Strad, June 2013

…[Henning Kraggerud] never loses—nor does he overplay—the qualities of naivety and mythical storytelling. In all this the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra is a warm and pliant partner, and the additional instrumental colouring is highly rewarding. On its own terms, and in many ways, this is a highly covetable disc. © 2013 The Strad Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, June 2013

These are superbly made arrangements.

Violinist Henning Kraggerud is more than just an able transcriber (along with colleague Bernt Simen Lund). He is the excellent soloist and leader of the very fine Tromsø Chamber Orchestra. They sound lovely together—by turns robust, delicate, and always sensitively balanced. The result couldn’t be more natural.

This beautifully recorded release has to be accounted one of the most successful projects of its type ever realized, and this is certainly one of the best discs of the year. © ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, May 2013

Henning Kraggerud, one of the most acclaimed of Norwegian violinists, has widened the repertoire for Greg orchestral pieces with the Tromsø Symphony Orchestra. In fact, Edvard Grieg never wrote a violin concerto, so Kraggerud decided to orchestrate the composer’s three violin sonatas. These charming and inventive arrangements are described as Three Concerti for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, set the solo violin against a string orchestra augmented by wind instruments in order to keep the music’s chamber ambience. © 2013 Classical CD Choice Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2013

Henning Kraggerud’s recording of Grieg’s Violin Sonatas has for many years been the preferred version. Now he has orchestrated the sonatas to form Concertos. For this pleasing task he has been joined by Bernt Simen Lund, a member of the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra and an experienced arranger. Kraggerud’s accompanying disc notes bemoan the fact that Grieg never wrote a concerto that could be taken up by the nation’s solo violinists, this orchestration a belated undertaking to redress that situation. He felt that, unlike the composer’s Piano Concerto, the basic material could not be extended beyond the use of a small string and woodwind group. The result I would describe to you as quite charming, and whatever changes have been required in the accompaniment are certainly not immediately apparent. Whether you can describe them as ‘concertos’ is a moot point, for they strike me akin to Siblius’s Humoresques in style and content. So I would ask you to take them for what they are, as at times we hear the influence of Peer Gynt and the Two Elegiac Pieces creeping in, the result containing many pleasures. Certainly Kraggerud’s performance is stunning, his silvery tone and the dexterity of fast passages so wonderfully mercurial. He is the artistic leader of the orchestra, who play superbly for him, the strings so warm. Indeed from this disc you would be tempted to describe them among Europe’s top ten chamber ensembles. The natural sound quality and balance between soloist and orchestra is one of the very best I have heard in recent times. Very highly recommended. © David’s Review Corner





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