Balázs Szokolay – Lyric Pieces (Edvard Grieg) (1990)

FrontCover1Lyric Pieces (Norwegian: Lyriske stykker) is a collection of 66 short pieces for solo piano written by Edvard Grieg. They were published in 10 volumes, from 1867 (Op. 12) to 1901 (Op. 71). The collection includes several of his best known pieces, such as Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen), To Spring (Til våren), March of the Trolls (Trolltog), and Butterfly (Sommerfugl).

The theme of the first piece in the set, Arietta, was one of the composer’s favorite melodies. He used it to complete the cycle in his very last lyric piece, Remembrances (Efterklang) — this time as a waltz. (by wikipedia)

This is a very pleasing assortment from among Grieg’s 66 short Lyric Pieces, written between 1866-1891. There were 6-8 pieces in each of the 10 “books”, and this collection of 30 pieces contains selections from 9 of the books (there is no selection from Book 62 for TitlePagesome reason).

Each and every one presented here is a pure delight, and represent Grieg’s life-long desire to create a true Norwegian music genre derived from the folk music, dances, stories and natural environment of Norway. Every piece is evocative and the entire disc is delightful, thanks to the colorful and imaginative piano of Balazs Szokolay.

These pieces were recorded in 1989 at the Italian Institute in Budapest, and first released in Germany in 1990  The DDD recording quality was excellent and stands the test of time.
Since his first international appearance in 1979 with Peter Nagy at the Salzburg Interforum, pianist Szokolay has been a successful contender who has won many important awards and who maintains a steady following. His piano is energetic and expressive, and he is featured in over 90 albums on the Naxos label. As he is not yet 60 years old, we can hope for more from this productive and interesting artist. (by Philly Galon)

Balázs Szokolay

Balázs Szokolay
Personnel:
Balázs Szokolay (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1  1.09
02. Halling (Norwegian Dance), Op. 38, No. 4  0.46
03. Melodie, Op. 38, No. 3  1,40
04. Melodie, Op. 47, No. 3  2.39
05. Halling (Norwegian Dance), Op. 47, No. 4  1.12
06. Fra Ungdomsdagene (From Years Of Youth). Op. 65, No. 1  4.27
07. Canon, Op. 38, No. 8  4,31
08. Småtrold (Puck), Op. 71, No. 3  1.42
09. Walzer, Op. 38, No. 7  1.01
10. Matrosernes Opsang (Sailor’s Song), Op. 68, No. 1  1.04
11. Springtanz, Op. 38, No. 5  1.20
12. Halling (Norwegian Dance), Op. 71, No. 5  2.43
13. Volksweise (Folk-Song), Op. 38, No. 2  1.33
14. Elegie, Op. 38, No. 6  2.10
15. Gangar (Norwegian March), Op. 54, No. 2  2.42
16. De Var Engang (Once Upon A Time), Op. 71, No. 1  3.28
17. Einsamer Wanderer (Solitary Wanderer), Op. 43, No. 2  1.36
18. Elverdans (Elves’ Dance), Op. 12, No. 4  0.42
19. Vals, Op. 12, No. 2  1.40
20. Folkewise (Folk-Song), Op. 12, No. 5  1.11
21. Skovstilhed (Peace Of The Wood), Op. 71, No. 4  4.58
22. Stambogsblad (Album-Leaf), Op.12, No. 7  1.11
23. Valse-Impromptu, Op. 47, No. 1  2.59
24. Forbi (Gone), Op. 71, No. 6  2.10
25. Sie Tanzt (She Dances), Op. 57, No. 5  2.43
26. Albumsblatt (Album-Leaf), Op. 47, No. 2  2.58
27. Sommeraften (Summer Evening), Op. 71, No. 2  2.24
28. For Dine Födder (At Your Feet), Op. 68, No. 3  2.22
29. Valse Mélancolique, Op. 68, No. 6  3.24
30. Efterklang (Remembrance) , Op. 71, No. 7 1.45

Music written by Edvard Grieg
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Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg
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Various Artists – Pianissimo – Music For Quiet Moments (1998)

frontcover1Only in the silence can music touch a chord within us, and create a distant echo. And it is through the silence that the piano can open and blossom with it incomparable voice, and the vibration of it strings melt into melody.

Since the invention of the modern Pianoforte in the 18th century, composers have again and again been inspired by its special sensibilities, and the capacity of this Instrument to encompass the slightest expressive nuances and translate them into Sound.

On this album you will find a collection of the loveliest piano melodies in musical history: Whether the Adagio sosenuto from Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata, or the Largo from his Piano Concerto, whether Listz´s Liebestraum, or Schumann´s Träumerei, the Adagio from Grieg´s  Piano Concerto or Chopin´s Nocturne, all show how this instrument has struck a chord in these Composers (Georg Stänzel; taken from the original liner notes)

Enjoy the sounds of silence !

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Tracklist:
01. Alfredo Perl: Adagio Sostenuto (Beethoven)  6.02
02. Jena Philharmonic Orchestra: Largo (Beethoven) 10.41
03. Ricardo Castro: Adagio (Mozart) 4.14
04. Carmen Piazzini: Adagio (Haydn) 5.00
05. Nadja Rubanenko: Sehr langsam (Schumann) 4.13
06. Alfredo Perl: Adagio (Grieg) 6.52
07. Carmen Piazzini:  Danza Del Moza Donosa (Ginastera) 3.26
08. Carmen Piazzini:  Cancion De Las Venusinas (Piazolla) 3.26
09. Arkady Sevidov: Barcarolle (Tchaikovsky) 5.16
10. Ricardo Castro: Nocturne No. 1 Op. 9/1 (Chopin)  5.35
11. Michael Krücker: Liebestraum Op. 62 No. 3/Poco Allegretto Con Affetto (Liszt) 4.40
12. Andreas Bach: Träumerei (Schumann) 2.17
13. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra + Vladimir Mishtchuk: Adagio Sostenuto (Rachmaninov) 11.38

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berchtesgaden09a

Another quiet moment
(I shoot this picture near Berchtesgaden (Bavarian Alps) in october 2009)