4 Apr 2019

GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor

From Music Alive, 8:02 pm on 4 April 2019

Edvard Grieg only made one attempt at a Piano Concerto, but he hit it out of the park, so to speak.

Performed by Alessio Bax and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Blendulf.

Alessio Bax

Alessio Bax Photo: www.marcoborggreve.com

"In many ways it's a perfect concerto," says our soloist for this performance, Alessio Bax, "it's somewhat compact; a huge range of emotions; there's a great cadenza; beautiful tunes; beautiful contrasting moments; great writing for the piano and for the orchestra. And then at the same time, it's really uniquely Grieg – it has this Nordic feel throughout."

Grieg wrote the concerto in 1868 when he was just 24, but he revised it at least seven times, making hundreds of subtle changes to the orchestration.

Like so much of his music it’s imbued with references to Norwegian folk music.

The composer said: “The traditional way of life of the Norwegian people, together with Norway's legends, Norway’s history, Norway’s natural scenery, stamped itself on my creative imagination from my earliest years."

Recorded by RNZ in Auckland Town Hall, 4 April 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay