The unmistakably individual stamp of Grieg’s Piano Concerto often leads listeners to assume it is a work of his maturity. In fact he had composed very little up to this point to suggest he was even capable of such an undertaking. It took a major catalyst to really fire up his creative energies- the birth of a beautiful baby daughter. I mention this because the premiere recording of the two-piano version of the Concerto is played with such compelling freshness by husband-and-wife duo, Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow.
There’s no denying that music which relies so heavily on instrumental colour loses something in such a transcription, yet played like this, with Goldstone pulling out all the stops and Clemmow integrating and balancing the accompaniment to perfection, any potential limitations are swiftly forgotten. The rest of this outstanding recital features enchanting piano-duet versions of the First Peer Gynt Suite, Homage March from Sigurd Jorsalfar, 4 Norwegian Dances (the first of which almost lifts the roof off) and Mozart’s Sonata K545 with Grieg’s second piano part.