Grieg and Finnissy Piano Quintets
Metier is very proud to introduce the first recording of Edvard Grieg’s unfinished Piano Quintet, as completed masterfully by Michael Finnissy. Keeping closely within the bounds of the musical language known to Grieg, this new completion produces a 27-minute single-movement work of extreme quality. The second work on the CD takes Grieg’s Quintet as its starting point and develops it gradually, adding more and more contemporary and free harmonies and melodic lines, as a modern-day ‘reflection’ on the original Quintet.
The internationally renowned Kreutzer Quartet again produce a masterful performance with pianist Roderick Chadwick.
Edvard Grieg – completed byMichael Finnissy:
- Piano Quintet in B flat major, EG118
- Grieg-Quintettsatz (32:33)
“Finnissy’s omnipresent engagement with existing musical materials could hardly be more overwhelmingly obvious in Metier’s 2013 CD featuring two works for piano quintet… a remarkably large-scale testament not merely to an empathetic response to Grieg’s material but to a wholesale assimilation by Finnissy of Grieg’s entire soundworld and musical thinking. The performances, given by the Kreutzer Quartet and pianist Roderick Chadwick, are splendid in the way they reinforce the contrasts and connections both between these old and new soundworlds as well as the two works on the disc, which as a whole comes across as a stimulating mixture of traditional familiarity and disarming oddity.”” —Simon Cummings
“No herald indicates where Grieg ends and Finnissy begins. Finnissy follows on seamlessly from Grieg’s 234th bar to produce a sturdy 27-minute “chamber symphony. Despite exceeding the half-hour mark, I wish Finnissy had taken the coda’s startling new gestures around the block a few more times. Chadwick and the Kreutzer Quartet effortlessly navigate Grieg and Finnissy’s real and fanciful worlds.”” —Grant Chu Covell
Completions of Grieg are not unique – but this one is certainly rather special. Finnissy has achieved something of a triumph. The Kreutzer Quartet players have long been champions of Finnissy’s music. In combination with Chadwick they are as eloquent as one could wish in the Piano Quintet completion, and skillfully negotiate the sudden stylistic shifts and non-sequiturs of Grieg-Quintettsatz: a notable addition to Finnissy’s discography – and Edward Grieg’s.” —Calum MacDonald
The four sections [of Finnissy’s completion of the Grieg Quintet] are seamlessly linked, The Quintettsatz is a moving tribute to the Norwegaian master and a fascinating work in its own right. The playing from Roderick Chadwick and the Kreutzer Quartet is of course expert, but the whole disc is an unexpected serendipity.” —Robert Anderson
Here is a remarkable congruence of composers. [The completion of Grieg’s Quintet] is a creative transfiguration of academic prowess and critical insight.” —Paul Driver
The result [of Finnissy’s completion of the Grieg] is music of ravishing beauty. [With the Quintettsatz] the result is a fascinating and highly rewarding meeting of minds, the Grieg gradually and gracefully giving way to Finnissy’s contemporary idiom.” —Christian Morris
[Grieg’s original] 250 bars make for a very densely romantic work …once you get used to the premises of the Finnissy reconstruction it is an impressive effort, rather remarkable in the way a composer of today can transport himself into a musical world so long past. Chadwick and the Kreutzer Quintet [sic] do a fine job with the performances. Finnissy creates music that sticks with you, creates a sort of time travel that shows ingenuity, even brilliance. An impressive effort!” —Grego Edwards
Due to the limited extend of the fragments, Michael Finnissy decided against a piece with multiple movements instead choosing the form of a chamber symphony with a single movement. The results are definitely worth listening to; in my opinion he succeeded in empathizing with Grieg’s style. The lyrical, melancholic passages in particular could have originated from the Norwegian composer.” —Sonja Jüschke
This disc reveals another side of Finnissy. His Grieg-Quintettsatz is a compassionately composed love letter in sound to Edvard Grieg written shortly after his stylistically faithful completion of the Piano Quintet. The Kreutzer Quartet and Roderick Chadwick play the game, an authentic mode of 19th century expression and refuses to acknowledge its genuine fakeness. Attention-grabbing.” —Philip Clark
This is fascinating and fun. The result is entirely convincing. The transformation (in the Quintettsatz) is masterly and utterly compelling, as are performance of both works from the Kreutzer Quartet and Roderick Chadwick. Strongly recommended. Performance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Recording ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️” —Christopher Dingle