The Strad Issue: September 2017
Description: An intoxicating, exhilarating recording of lesser-known Grieg
Musicians: Maya Levy (violin) Matthieu Idmtal (piano)
Catalogue Number: PAVANE ADW 7585
Although Grieg’s C minor Sonata (no.3) has been a staple recital favourite for many years, its younger siblings have come into their own only fairly recently. Maya Levy and Matthieu Idmtal capture the music’s intoxicating blend of Schumannesque fantasy and Mendelssohnian freshness to captivating effect. Some may feel that they relax the tempo a shade too much as the opening movement of the First Sonata’s development gets under way, though the way they savour the change of mood and Grieg’s enchanting harmonic profiling is delectable.
They also capture the exhilarating, dance-like finale of no.2 with contagious outdoor abandon and shape Grieg’s melodic writing with a childlike sense of wonder (complemented by clean, well-balanced sound), most notably in the magical central Allegretto of no.3. Levy and Idmtal enter most beguilingly into Grieg’s unique sound world, making us marvel afresh at the Norwegian’s indelible lyrical genius.