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Friday, March 10, 2017

Eyvind Alnæs; Christian Sinding - Piano Concertos (Piers Lane)


Composer: Eyvind Alnæs; Christian Sinding
  1. Alnæs - Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 27: 1. Allegro moderato
  2. Alnæs - Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 27: 2. Lento
  3. Alnæs - Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 27: 3. Allegro assai, tempo di valse
  4. Sinding - Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 6: 1. Allegro non troppo
  5. Sinding - Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 6: 2. Andante
  6. Sinding - Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 6: 3. Allegro non assai

Piers Lane, piano
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Litton, conductor

Date: 2007
Label: Hyperion




You’re going to love this disc. It does everything this wonderful series of “Romantic Piano Concertos” is supposed to: present captivating repertoire in excellent performances. Christian Sinding was a notoriously spotty composer when working in large forms. After all, if you live well into your 80s writing tons of music along the way, but remain famous for one three-minute piano miniature (“Rustle of Spring”), then something’s not right. That said, this youthful concerto offsets its tendency to ramble with an abundance of fresh, enjoyable tunes and fistfuls of pianistic fun and games. When the melodies are so attractive it’s impossible to deny Sinding his right to dwell on them at length.

Eyvind Alnaes was one of those composer/performer/administrators whose busy schedule prevented him from writing much music, but thank God he turned out this piano concerto. Scored for a massive orchestra with an enormous brass section (six trombones!), the piece is, believe it or not, actually rather light and vivacious, except for those moments when the full ensemble really cuts loose. The finale, a free-flowing waltz, would be a “pops” favorite if the scoring weren’t so extravagant. It’s just the kind the music you’ll want to enjoy on disc because you’ll never hear it live: a big, juicy, Wagnerian love-fest between the soloist and the orchestra that leaves you wanting more. Piers Lane plays both concertos with a confidence that belies their unfamiliarity, and you know that Andrew Litton and the Bergen orchestra will do their bit like real pros. Excellent sound completes the picture. A genuine find! [6/13/2007]

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:


Eyvind Alnæs (29 April 1872, Fredrikstad – 24 December 1932, Oslo) was a Norwegian composer, pianist, organist and choir director. Alnæs studied music first in Oslo with Iver Holter, then in Leipzig with Carl Reinecke and, after the première of his first symphony in 1896, in Berlin with Julius Ruthardt. Alnæs wrote music in a late Romantic style; his output included two symphonies, one set of symphonic variations, a piano concerto, pieces for piano, chorale preludes for organ, choral works, and art songs (in Norwegian, romanser).


Christian August Sinding (11 January 1856 – 3 December 1941) was a Norwegian composer. He studied music first in Christiania before going to Germany, where he studied at the conservatory in Leipzig under Salomon Jadassohn. He is known for his lyrical works for piano, such as Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring, 1896). Among his other works are four symphonies, three violin concertos, a piano concerto, chamber music, songs and choral works to Norwegian texts, and an opera, Der Heilige Berg (The Holy Mountain, 1914). He was often compared to Edvard Grieg and regarded as his successor. 


Piers Lane (born 8 January 1958) is an Australian classical pianist. He graduated with a Medal of Excellence from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where his teacher was Nancy Weir. His performance career has taken him to more than 40 countries. His concerto repertoire exceeds 75 works. Lane has an extensive discography on the Hyperion label and has also recorded for EMI, Decca, BMG, Lyrita and Unicorn-Kanchana. Lane is a well-known voice on BBC Radio 3, having written and presented more than 100 programs, including a 54-part series called The Piano.


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