# Composer: Edvard Grieg
# Orchestra: The London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Øivin Fjeldstad
# Vinyl (1958 / 2012)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 14
# Label: Original Recordings Group / London
# Size: 1.01GB (24/96) + 267MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: FileFactory, FilePost
From the label:
Peer Gynt is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play of the same name, music written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875. Considered to be Norway’s greatest classical composer, Grieg, in the immortal Peer Gynt Suites, captured the rising of the sun, the lamenting of a death, and, in “The Hall of the Mountain King,” the imagery of a chase scene. His works contained what are yet today readily recognizable “tunes.” Here, conductor Øivin Fjelstad leads the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance presented at 45 RPM on a double LP set. Limited edition of 2,500 numbered copies.
From the Speakers Corner website:
No matter how often one hears it, who can ever fail to enjoy “Morning Mood” from Peer Gynt, the incidental music which Grieg wrote for Henrik Ibsen’s play of the same name. And who can fail to want to accompany the hero on his musical journey through the uncanny world of gnomes and trolls and the seductive exoticism of the Orient, and to return to the stillness of the North after a long sea voyage? And who better to capture the magic of romantic Scandinavian music than Grieg’s compatriot, the unforgettable Øivin Fjeldstad, under whose baton the London Symphony Orchestra conjures up the highly changeable moods with a rare forceful presence.
The velvet-smooth, highly sonorous strings play with delicately shaded dynamics and impressive spatiality, while the wonderfully gentle winds transport the listener to the atmosphere of the concert hall. There’s no escaping this music; once you have sat down to listen to it, it will hold you enraptured right up to the very last note.
The incidental music Edvard Grieg composed for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt (1867) stands, along with his Holberg Suite and Piano Concerto, among his most universally popular orchestral works. By common consent, the music itself achieved far more for Ibsen’s vast and bewildering dramatic poem than any mere stage performance alone could have done, and therein lies a problem. For as Ibsen’s English biographer Michael Meyer writes, Grieg’s music “turns the play into a jolly Hans Andersen fairy tale,” one thing its author would certainly never have wished for. And the critic and playwright George Bernard Shaw, a fervent advocate of Ibsen’s works, similarly concluded that in his music Grieg “could only catch a few superficial points in the play instead of getting to the very heart and brain of it.” That may well be the case, but Grieg’s Peer Gynt incidental music has nevertheless become a universal favorite, and it is not difficult to understand why.
Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen decided to adapt his verse drama for performance at the Christiana (Oslo) Theatre in 1874, recognizing that his sprawling five-act play would benefit greatly from the addition of a musical score. Grieg’s music was first heard there in February 1876, but the initial production run was radically curtailed after fire destroyed the sets and costumes. The score, however, was enthusiastically received by the critics, and Grieg subsequently saw an opportunity to establish a separate identity for the music itself and drew from the more than two dozen numbers of the complete work two concert suites, Ops. 46 and 54. Conductors sometimes assemble ad hoc suites of their own as well.
The most popular numbers are “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (a textbook example of the dramatic potency of cumulative crescendo and accelerando, illustrating Grieg’s fondness for Germanic orchestral effects), in which Peer Gynt bargains for his life after the assembled Trolls call for his blood, and the highly evocative “Morning Mood” with its lovely flute solo and expansive orchestral language — the music depicts, incidentally, not a fresh Nordic sunrise, but rather a Saharan dawn in Act IV of Ibsen’s drama! Other memorable moments include the fragile lyric utterances of “Solveig’s Song,” the beguiling “Anitra’s Dance,” the poignant “Death of Åse,” “Peer Gynt’s Homecoming: Stormy Evening at Sea,” and his eventual “Shipwreck.” As Anthony Burton writes, “the curtain falls as Peer’s long and eventful journey finally comes to its end.”
01 – Prelude, Op. 23 No. 1
02 – Morning Mood, Op, 23 No. 13
03 – a) The Death Of Ase, Op. 23 No. 12
b) – Anitra’s Dance, Op. 23 No. 16
04 – In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Op. 23 No. 7
05 – Ingrid’s Abduction And Lament, Op. 23 No. 4
06 – Arab Dance, Op. 23 No. 15
07 – a) Peer Gynt’s Home-Coming, Op. 23 No. 19
b) – Solvejg’s Song, Op. 23 No. 11
08 – Dance Of The Mountain King’s Daughter, Op. 23 No. 8
Recorded at Kingsway Hall
Originally mastered at Decca Studios by The Decca Record Company Limited
Engineered by Alan Reeve and Cyril Windebank
Produced by Christopher Raeburn
Limited edition of 2500 numbered copies
Mastered from the original analog tapes by Bernie Grundman
Double 180-gram audiophile vinyl LPs cut at 45 RPM, pressed at RTI
All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5
Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio ResoMat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface
Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX2
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