Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Andrew Palmer
Group Editor
2:29 PM 4th June 2022

Classical Music Album: Greig Lyric Pieces Vol 1

Greig Lyric Pieces Vol 1

Peter Donohoe

Klokkeklang Op 54 No 6; Hemmelighet, Op 57 No 4; Albumblad Op12 No 7; Vals, Op12 No 2; Bondens sang Op 65 No 2; Gade Op 57 No2; Skogstillhet Op 71 No 4; Til våren Op 43 No 6; I hjemmet Op 43 No 3; Bekken Op 62 No 4; Alfedans Op 12 No 4; Tungsinn Op 65 No 3;Småtroll Op 71 No 3; Kanon Op 38 No 8; Albumblad Op 47 No 2; Sommeraften 71 No 2; Melankoli Op 47 No5; Svunne dager Op 57 No 1; Melodi Op 38 No 3; Scherzo Op 54 No 5; Norsk Op 12 No 6; Gjetergutt Op 54 No1; Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen Op 65 No 6; Erotikk Op 43 No5; Notturno Op 54 No 4; Valse mélancolique Op 68 No 6 ; Halling Op 71 No 5

Chandos CHAN 20254

Release date: 10 June 2022

Peter Donohoe has chosen a lovely selection of Grieg's Lyric Pieces on this first volume. Starting his recital with Klokkeklang, he immediately sets the scene for what is to follow, delicate, expressive playing with well-controlled crescendos and diminuendos. Donohoe’s playing has an aura of warmth is immensely lyrical and intimate.

Peter Donohoe writes: ‘as a teenager I expanded my knowledge of the music of Grieg to include many solo piano pieces as well as the better-known orchestral works. I was beguiled by his style and the reason remains somewhat intangible. Although one is able to identify the originality of Grieg as a composer – the Norwegian folk element in his music, his natural gift for memorable line, his occasional diversions into unique and extraordinarily forward-looking harmonies, and to some degree, his emotion naïveté - there is a unique, unidentifiable kernel in his output that defies analysis, as is true of the works of all great composers…’

Donohoe creates poetry playing on a Steinway Model D Concert Grand Piano, recorded in Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk. The longest piece on the album is Wedding Day at Troldhaugen and it is nice to hear it in context rather than as a piece often heard on its own. Donohoe captures the magic of the piece with meaningful playing as his fingers move across the keyboard.

His dynamics and colour demonstrate what Erling Dahl says of the collection of Lyric Pieces, a unique document of the breadth and depth which Grieg possessed as a composer. In them a lifetime of impressions and experiences has been captured, in a simple and common musical language.

Attractive miniatures that are compelling in the way Donohoe crafts each one bringing out the meaning of the titles especially Sommeraften ('Summer's Eve'), Albumblad ('Album Leaf') Op 47 No2, Erotikk, Notturno, I hjmmet ('In my native country') and the beautiful Melankoli ('Melancholy'). These gems tell individual stories in Donohoe's hands. He ends his selection for volume 1 with Halling evoking a solo dance for men, famously requiring physical strength and agility as well as stamina. Qualities Donohoe has in abundance.