Completely fascinating and packing an enormous emotional punch, Edvard Grieg by Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes is one of the simplest ways to begin 2022

Edvard Grieg

Lise Davidsen, Leif Ove Andsnes (Piano)                               Decca, out now


This fascinating album exhibits that the vocally and bodily imposing Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, as she approaches her thirty fifth birthday subsequent month, just isn’t ready to be typecast as a Wagner soprano.

She is seen by many as a pure heir of the mantle of her fellow Norwegian Kirsten Flagstad and the Swede Birgit Nilsson who, between them, dominated Wagner singing for a number of a long time within the mid-Twentieth Century.

However Davidsen returns to her roots right here with a first-class 80-minute album of the songs of Edvard Grieg, an applicable selection for a singer who began out on the Grieg Academy within the composer’s house city of Bergen.

Working together for the first time, Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes (above) are totally captivating in these 28 songs

Working collectively for the primary time, Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes (above) are completely fascinating in these 28 songs

Decca has spared no expense, partnering her with one other Norwegian, the formidable live performance pianist and Scandinavian music specialist Leif Ove Andsnes, the most effective round.

Working collectively for the primary time, Davidsen and Andsnes are completely fascinating in these 28 songs, very effectively recorded in Norway final September.

Grieg was a populist, completely immersed in his nation’s people music, and a first-class pianist, with an enormous catalogue of piano compositions in addition to his celebrated piano concerto.

Andsnes performs brilliantly all through, and supplies a safe base for Davidsen to indicate that, up to now not less than, her voice has retained its freshness, regardless of all of the heavy-duty stuff she has been singing elsewhere.

Most of this music will probably be identified solely to Grieg specialists, however a couple of items will probably be acquainted, reminiscent of The Final Spring, a beautiful melody, higher identified in its orchestral model than in its unique track guise.

And Hans Christian Andersen’s I Love Solely You packs an enormous emotional punch in a mere 80 seconds.

You probably have by no means invested in an art-song album earlier than, this might be first purchase. I can’t think about a greater begin to my 2022 listening than this marvellous album.

Extra, please.