GREIG: Chasing the Butterfly: Recreating Grieg’s 1903 Recordings and Beyond, classical CD of the week

From the archives .....

Geoffrey Norris: This is a strange set, but a curiously compelling one as well. The Norwegian pianist Sigurd Slåttebrekk, in collaboration with the record producer Tony Harrison, has closely – not to say obsessively – examined the acoustic recordings that his fellow countryman Grieg made of nine of his own piano pieces in Paris in 1903, all of them reproduced here.

The quest was to seek out the secrets of Grieg’s own piano playing, which his friend Percy Grainger commended for its “strong and sudden accents of all kinds”, its “vivid contrasts of light and shade”, its “restless and feverish” passion and its “extreme delicacy and exquisiteness of detail”.
We can also detect a freedom of rhythm in the form of hesitations and pushings forward that tug against more modern thoughts on interpretation but which seem to breathe the same air as the music"