Many delights here, the music itself and Peter Donohoe’s sensitive and poetic playing of it. The other good news is that Donohoe is recording all of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, and he has some interesting things to say about this repertoire for the booklet, which also includes an essay by Erling Dahl. While in housekeeping mode, let me mention that Jonathan Cooper’s Potton Hall sound is first-class, nicely intimate but also sporting a wide dynamic range when needed, for although Donohoe is the epitome of elegance and charm, as well as being attractively improvisatory, he doesn’t stint on contrasts and is faithfully captured.
This eighty-three-minute recital of twenty-seven selections is pure pleasure, and nicely varied in mood and tempo to enjoy at a single sitting, Donohoe with each of the first notes so inviting. The well-known ‘Wedding Day at Troldhaugen’ is wonderfully brought off, for example, with joyful rhythms and melodic shape, so tender in the middle section; and elsewhere, whether the miniature is quicksilver, rapid, or gently expressive (such as ‘Albumblad’, played here with enough twinkle-in-the-eye syncopation to anticipate Gershwin), Donohoe is a magician and can be spoken of in company with Emil Gilels and his celebrated selection for Deutsche Grammophon. Donohoe’s revelatory Grieg is on Chandos CHAN 20254.
He is also recording the whole of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words. Similarly, the first volume is an impressive start: https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%2020252
Also with Donohoe, http://www.colinscolumn.com/bbc-symphony-orchestra-sakari-oramo-and-peter-donohoe-record-music-piano-concerto-symphony-by-dora-pejacevic-for-chandos/, and http://www.colinscolumn.com/peter-donohoe-records-piano-music-by-busoni-for-chandos/.
I’m sure Bob Matthew-Walker, with his special interest in Grieg, will be delighted by this news.