1868, 1884, 1988, Music

Grieg: Piano Concerto; Holberg Suite (1988) by Various Artists

This is one of those extremely annoying compilations where there is virtually no information: we know the performers of the pieces but not when or where. Labels like Quintessence get their hands on recordings that don’t have copyright protection in North America and release these recordings to unsuspecting consumers such as libraries, which is how I’m listening to this. When someone like me listens to this music, it’s annoying to know so little. I don’t know the music and so I cannot really comment on the performances. (Though I can comment on the sound quality: it is shockingly good given the label and the kind of release this is.)

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 91868)

  1. Allegro molto moderato (A minor)
  2. Adagio (D-flat major)
  3. Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Quasi presto – Andante maestoso (A minor → F major → A minor → A major)

The Concerto is a definite crowd-pleaser, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Apparently it has a lot in common with the Schumann, but I wouldn’t know about that as I haven’t gotten to Schumann yet.

I like these kind of overwrought, “here’s how awesome I am at the solo instrument” Romantic concerti. I have a real soft spot for them. And so this really appeals to me even though it’s obviously intended for showboating (and not for the “advancement of the art” or what have you).

From Holberg’s Time: Suite in olden style Op. 40 (1884)

  1. Praeludium (Allegro vivace)
  2. Sarabande (Andante)
  3. Gavotte (Allegretto)
  4. Air (Andante religioso)
  5. Rigaudon (Allegro con brio)

This “Holberg” is the orchestral version, so I just have to throw my music snobbery out here and say “Gol, I wish it was the original.”

That being said, and even though I am not really into classicism, I see a kind of bravery in making such unabashedly traditional music at the height of the romantic era. I don’t know if that’s really something that is commendable or not, but I assume it.


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