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     Edvard Grieg (b. 15 June 1843; d. 4 Sept 1907)
     His time was a golden age of romanticism.  National music schools were founded
during the nineteenth century in most countries of Europe.  Each school was focused on the
promotion of national folklore through research and usage in operas, symphonies, sonatas,
and other academic genres.  During this time, composers discovered their national heritage.
This tendency, visible on the surface of musical life, was a reflection of a more global, profound historical movement - many countries' search for a strong sense of national identity.
Grieg established the Norwegian music school.
     He was not a prolific composer; but almost everything he wrote received international
acclaim.  He greatly influenced other composers and grew to be a part of world culture.
Grieg and his music became a national symbol, a "calling card" of Norway.  It is interesting,
that being a brilliant master of miniature he had a lack of ability to develop musical material,
like, for example, Beethoven in his larger works' forms.  Grieg wrote: "Artists like Bach
and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights.  I only wanted...to build
dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home."
     The nature of Grieg's talent is lyrical; and his melodies are the most expressive and
fascinating element.  His music speaks and finds its way to everyone.  Pyotr Tchaikovsky said
of Grieg: "What warmth and passion in his melodic phrases, what teeming vitality in his
harmony, what originality and beauty in the turn of his piquant and ingenious modulations
and rhythms... add to all this that rarest of qualities, a perfect simplicity."  This album
embraces piano miniatures written in different periods of his life.  The forms are simple,
laconic, encompassing a wide range of emotional expression.  The music brings the colours
and atmosphere of Norway.

     Mikhail Pletnev is widely known after his victory at the All-Union Pianists Competition
(1977, Leningrad) and the 6th Tchaikovsky International Competition (1978, Moscow).
His concert activities, which started in 1978, were awarded the Lenin Komsomol Prize
(1979) and the Glinka State Prize (1982).
     Pletnev's triumph at competitions and his first concert season marked the emergence
of an enormously gifted pianist on the musical horizon.  Though barely over twenty, he had
all the makings of a mature performer.  Pletnev realized his concepts with amazing perfection
and great conviction, without any fear of breaking existing standards.  His enchanting
interpretations were dictated entirely by his concepts.
    As time passes, Pletnev's treatments again and again puzzle many of his listeners with their innovative character.  Often this novelty results from his own analysis of a work's content, which reflects the author's vision of the world.  It allows Pletnev to free each work from the weight of standards and create his own interpretations, which reflect the outlook and spiritual quests of an intelligent and honest man, with a capacity for profound feeling, pondering over life's eternal problems.  This is testified by Pletnev's artistic discoveries in music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn

Edvard Grieg

1.  Bell-Ringing, Op. 54, No.4 - 4:58
2.  Cradle Song, Op. 38, No.1 - 3:10
3.  Butterfly, Op. 43, No. 1 - 1:40
4.  Elegie, Op. 47, No.7- 4:05
5.  Melody, Op. 4, No.3 - 4:02
6.  Secrecy, Op. 57, No.4 - 6:44
7.  National Song, Op. 12, No 8 - 1:28
8.  Home-Sickness, Op. 57, No 6 - 5:12
9.  Brooklet, Op. 62, No 4 - 1:42
10. Valse - Impromptu, Op. 47, No 1 - 3:06
11. Grandmother's Minuet,Op. 68, No 2 - 2:06
12. Vanished Days, Op. 57, No 1 - 7:31
13. March of the Dwarfs, Op. 54, No 3 - 3:10
14. Summer's Eve, Op. 71, No.2 - 3:19
15. Elegie, Op. 38, No 6 - 3:25
16. Scherzo, Op. 54, No 5 - 3:21
17. Lonely Wonderer, Op. 43, No 2 - 2:54
18. Puck, Op. 71, No 3 - 1:55
19. Nocturne, Op. 54, No 4 - 5:30

Total time  69:32

cover "Young Girl on the Shore" by Edvard Munch

Recording engineer - Pakhter.
Recorded in 1986 and 1988.
Remastered by Nikita Razlukin

Mikhail Pletnev, piano

Design by Evgeni Kostitsyn