Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor is among the best-loved works in the entire classical canon; it is also the composer’s only completed concerto. Grieg was not as comfortable writing large scale works as he was when working in smaller forms (his Concerto for Piano was prompted by a commission specifically for a piano concerto). While he did begin sketches for a violin concerto, that was as far as he got. In fact, there are no works by Grieg that feature the violin as the solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra, which makes these very effective arrangements of his violin sonatas for violin and chamber orchestra all the more welcome.
Violins Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 come from 1865 and 1867, when Grieg was in his early 20’s. The third sonata is a more mature work written some twenty years later. Henning Kraggerud, the violin soloist on this recording made the arrangements with the assistance of Bernt Simen Lund, an arranger working with the Tromso Chamber Orchestra, which also performs here. The string section of the orchestra is augmented by woodwinds, and these settings sound very natural, as though the works could have been conceived in this form from the beginning.
The sample that I have for you to hear is the third Allegro animato movement of the Violin Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 13. Have a listen to it; I think you’ll agree, it all works very well. Perhaps these concertos will even become an established part of Grieg’s catalog of works.
Grieg is one of the world’s best known composers, but the three Violin Sonatas are a relatively unfamiliar part of his output, despite being among his own favourite pieces. Grieg never wrote a violin concerto, and the foremost Norwegian violinist of his generation, Henning Kraggerud, assisted by Bernt Simen Lund, a member of the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, has taken up the challenge of creating three new concertos from the sonatas. In these arrangements the solo violin is set against a string orchestra augmented by wind instruments in order to retain the feel of chamber music.
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843 – 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helped develop a national identity.
Henning Kraggerud, violin
Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud is a naturally gifted artist who combines an unusually sweet tone and beauty of expression with impressive virtuosity, drawing audiences and critics alike towards the genuine quality of his playing. … read more
Tromsø Chamber Orchestra
Tromsø Chamber Orchestra is part of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and are Norway’s only full-time professional chamber orchestra. Through targeted and innovative programme planning, the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra wants to convey a broad spectrum of musical heritage, as well as innovation.