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NX 2441
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NX 2441

GRIEG, E.: String Quartets (arr. for string orchestra) / NORDHEIM, A.: Rendezvous (Oslo Camerata, Barratt-Due)

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2012


Oslo Camerata

Barratt-Due, Stephan

Stephan Barratt-Due



Lommedalen Church, Oslo

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 76:13
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GRIEG, E.: String Quartets (arr. for string orchestra) / NORDHEIM, A.: Rendezvous (Oslo Camerata, Barratt-Due)

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String Quartet in G minor, Op. 27 (arr. A. Ardal for string orchestra)

1 I. Un poco andante - Allegro molto ed agitato 12:40


2 II. Romanze: Andantino - Allegro agitato 6:13


3 III. Intermezzo: Allegro molto marcato - Piu vivo e scherzando 6:46
4 IV. Finale: Lento - Presto al saltarello 9:18



String Quartet in F major, EG 117 (arr. A. Ardal for string orchestra)

5 I. Sostenuto - Allegro vivace e grazioso 12:20
6 II. Allegro scherzando - Piu vivo - Allegro scherzando 7:07




7 I. Praeambulum (quasi una fantasia) 10:28
8 II. Intermezzo 4:34
9 III. Nachruf 6:47
 Stephan Barratt-Due Conductor
 Barratt-Due, Stephan

Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor has long established itself as one of the finest such works of the second half of the nineteenth century. The distinction of its thematic material, and its use in cyclical form, is reinforced by an ultimately victorious motto theme. The F major Quartet was written later, but remained unfinished, but it too is a fertile creation with a strong dance profile. Both works are heard in Alf Årdal’s imaginative arrangements for string orchestra. Arne Nordheim, the leading Norwegian composer of the 20th century, wrote Rendezvous as a quartet but expanded it in 1986. It is an intense, moving, and beautifully crafted work.

"...If until now Grieg’s String Quartet hasn’t meant much to you, or if you’ve been putting off getting to know it because it’s presumably not in the class of the Beethoven or Brahms quartets, now is the time to change that. The Oslo Camerata’s performance is so compelling, so full of life and spirit and energy, and so well recorded, that you may well fall in love with the piece. It is played in a string-orchestra transcription by Alf Årdal that grabs you from the opening leap into a coup d’archet unison chord and rivets your attention until the end. The 19-member Oslo Camerata is obviously a hand-picked ensemble with not a single weak player. Numerous passages, especially in the finale (a whirling, virtuosic saltarello), would tax most soloists, but the Camerata tosses them off with the utmost precision and panache. Their leader, Stephan Barratt-Due, inspires total unanimity of style, a huge dynamic range, and a hyper-expressive approach to the music without ever exceeding the bounds of good taste. Adding a further measure of glamour to the superb playing is Naxos’s sparkling-clear, glowing, full-bodied sound that almost takes on a life of its own. In fact, the sound is so immediate and resonant it is almost like being inside an instrument. Put all these qualities together and the result is a mesmerizing performance. I have listened to this disc easily a dozen times and can’t get enough of it..."

Robert Markow - Fanfare - July 2012

"...the two Grieg quartets work well in this format, and well repay investigation both by Grieg enthusiasts and those who have an allergy to the medium of the string quartet. The Lommedalen Church is spacious and nicely resonant, and the recorded sound is very rich and detailed..."

Paul Corfield Godfrey - - April 2012

"...Tempi are very similar to previous string quartet versions, so there is no unseemly lingering and no lack of tension. The standard of playing…is very high throughout ... everything—instrumental balance, phrasing, tempi and colouration—is judged to a nicety. The sound quality ... is exemplary; these days, especially where Naxos is concerned, it is rare for it to be otherwise.

Ralph Moore - - June 2012

"Alf Ardal’s string orchestra transcriptions of Edvard Grieg’s two quartets ... are both effective. The melodic material of the G-minor Quartet is lovely ... The transcription of the F-major Quartet is also very satisfying... All the playing is excellent."

Elaine Fine - American Record Guide - July 2012

               Artistic Quality 10      Sound Quality 10

"...Edvard Grieg’s G minor string quartet…has not achieved the popularity that it surely deserves. Here, as a veritable “symphony for strings”, especially in this gutsy, ferocious performance, it makes an unforgettable impression... Arne Nordheim’s Rendezvous…manages to be at once contemporary, passionate, and quite moving. As with the Grieg, the performances are splendid: bold, confident, ideally balanced, and quite wonderfully recorded..."

David Hurwitz - - February 2012

"...The nineteen-member Oslo Camerata under their lead violinist Stephan Barratt-Due generate a ravishing string sound, playing these selections with breathtaking enthusiasm and precision. As far as the Grieg is concerned, having listened to these expanded versions chances are you’ll reach for them instead of the originals the next time you want to hear his quartets. Made in an Oslo church the recordings are very good, projecting a modestly wide but deep soundstage in a warm reverberant acoustic. This makes the string sound all the richer, and adds a musicality which puts this disc in the demonstration category."

Bob McQuiston - Classical Lost and Found - March 2012

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