Edvard Grieg is rarely associated with choral singing; most listeners rarely get past the Piano Concerto, Per Gynt or perhaps the Lyric Suite. For lovers of choral music, this disc will come as a most welcome and musically satisfying surprise. The disc incorporates two works, Album for Male Voices, (yes, sung by an all-male choir) and Seven Children’s Songs, sung by a female choir, but rather than taking them separately, the songs are interspersed with each other to a thrilling effect. According to the liner notes, Grieg’s choral composition style was stylistically all over the place, so it was a conscious choice (and in keeping with Grieg’s spirit) to program the first two offerings non-sequentially. The full choir joins for the remainder of the disc, which includes the secular Last Spring, along with three religious-oriented offerings, the beautiful Whitsun Hymn, Ave, Maris Stella and Four Psalms.
This disc offers substantial proof that perhaps the classical world should re-evaluate Grieg’s place as a choral composer; although his output was not substantial in terms of sheer numbers, don’t we usually gravitate towards quality over quantity? Regardless, the performances are superb, and this recording is magnificent. The disc was recorded using the DXD system (Digital Extreme Definition), 32-bit, 352.8kHz, and then transferred to DSD for SACD. I’m not familiar with DXD, but the results are breathtaking, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from 2L Music. Very highly recommended!
– Tom Gibbs