Norwegian Violin Favourites
The best-known piece here is Svensen's disarmingly memorable Romance, with its romanticised folk-like main theme (beautifully played here). Svensen, like Grieg, owed much to Ole Bull, who, born in Bergen in 1810, was a virtuoso of the traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. He took his folk-instrument to Europe and achieved considerable success in Paris. He was also one of the first collectors of Norwegian folk-tunes, which he used in his own music. The opening piece here,
Henning Kraggerud plays on a modern violin, and with a lovely tone presents these miniatures with a simple eloquence that is disarmingly pleasurable. He ends his programme with two favourite Grieg items which show how folk material could be transmuted by a really great composer. He is very well accompanied and recorded, and this is altogether a most engaging lightweight concert, which at Naxos price is highly recommendable.