Grieg: Three Concertos for Violin and Chamber Orchestra / Henning Kraggerud


Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor is among the best-loved works in the entire classical canon; it is also the composer's only completed concerto. Grieg was not as comfortable writing large scale works as he was when working in smaller forms (his Concerto for Piano was prompted by a commission specifically for a piano concerto). While he did begin sketches for a violin concerto, that was as far as he got. In fact, there are no works by Grieg that feature the violin as the solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra, which makes these very effective arrangements of his violin sonatas for violin and chamber orchestra all the more welcome.

Violins Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 come from 1865 and 1867, when Grieg was in his early 20's. The third sonata is a more mature work written some twenty years later. Henning Kraggerud, the violin soloist on this recording made the arrangements with the assistance of Bernt Simen Lund, an arranger working with the Tromso Chamber Orchestra, which also performs here. The string section of the orchestra is augmented by woodwinds, and these settings sound very natural, as though the works could have been conceived in this form from the beginning.

The sample that I have for you to hear is the third Allegro animato movement of the Violin Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 13. Have a listen to it; I think you'll agree, it all works very well. Perhaps these concertos will even become an established part of Grieg's catalog of works.

Edvard Grieg - Violin Sonata No.2 Op.13, original version / Henning Kraggerud, violin