The complete violin sonats of Edvard Grieg
As a chamber music composer, Grieg has yet to receive the acknowledegment he deserves. His string quartet in g minor (op. 25) and his sonata for violin in c minor (op. 45) is two of the main compositions of the romantic era, and his three sonatas for violin is at the forefront of Nordic chamber music. The composer himself once said that his sonatas, written in the period 1865-1886, belonged to his best compositions and described the first as «naive», the second as «national», and the third as the «wider horizon».
Grieg tried to fuse the international and the national together in an organic way, and put his own personal impression on this synthesis. Especially in the G major sonata he shows to great success how folk musical elements can be used within the framework of the traditional sonata, and neither before or later has he, in a chamber musical work, used national elements to such a degree. Equally successful is the second sonata, in F major, with its spirited harmonics and unorthodox variations in tempo, or the dramatic c minor sonata, which up to our time has been on the repertoar of the worlds most leading violinsts.
Together, Terje Tønnesen and Einar Henning Smebye shows these works important place amongst Grieg´s compositions. Tønnesen, who at his sensational debut in 1972 was proclaimed to be Norway´s answer to Paganini, is one of the country´s most celebrated artists. With his combination of a raw and tender expression, he contributed as something new as a concert performer, and has for his work received a range of awards, not least the «Grieg award». Smebye, on the other siden, has performed several times at Festspillene in Bergen, been a solist in Griegs a minor concert in 1980, and done several performances throughout Europe. As a chamber musician he has performed with respected names such as Lana Izakadse, Iona Brown, Michaela Martin, Maurice Hasson og Vanya Milanova