As one of the three household names of Nordic music and Scandinavia's most "popular" composer, Grieg is traditional BIS territory. We have now started an exciting undertaking: to record all of Grieg's orchestral music. This will be the first complete Grieg series made by a Norwegian orchestra, and what could be a more natural choice than letting the leading Norwegian conductor of his generation, Ole Kristian Ruud and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Grieg’s “own” orchestra, do the honours. (Grieg’s grandfather was employed as leader of the orchestra in 1770 and 110 years later the composer was its musical director. Even now Grieg’s influence is great, as he left a great deal of money to a foundation supporting the orchestra.)
The programme on this first disc in the cycle includes both old favourites – the piano concerto – and less known works. (The Symphony was actually left unperformed for more than 100 years, from 1867 to 1980.) Recorded with the new DSD (Direct Stream Digital) technology, this hybrid disc offers the option of surround sound as well as the usual stereo – a first for this the most recorded (?) of all piano concertos.
Some press voices:
"this performance will make you fall in love with the music all over again."
American Record Guide 7-8/2003
"Ogawa finds herself up against some of the most hallowed names to have ever tickled the ivories - and emerges triumphant." Classic FM 2003
"All the performances on this disc are given with such zest and affection that all possible criticism is swept aside." Gramophone June 2003
"L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Bergen affiche ici une splendide verve, une éloquence éblouissante et une vigueur qui fait plaisir à entendre... Ogawa, en parfaite osmose avec la partition et le chef offre une lecture chalereuse, romantique et sans affectation." Répertoire May 2003