Mari Eriksmoen: Grieg, Wolf, Strauss, Grøndahl Lieder CD review – poised, elegant and persuasive

Eriksmoen/Cemin
(Alpha)

Rising soprano Mari Eriksmoen has chosen her repertoire for this disc well, even if, at only 47 minutes, she has been a bit stingy with it. Her selection of nine songs by Hugo Wolf emphasises a sense of mischief, and the recording captures well the crystalline yet supple quality of her voice and her direct, communicative way with text. Her Strauss selection includes three of the Ophelia Songs, which she makes sound at once confiding and otherworldly, Alphonse Cemin offering sensitive, mercurial support from the piano. Eriksmoen is even more persuasive in her native Norwegian. Five songs by Grieg find her relishing each word – A Bird’s Song sounds especially poised and elegant – but the disc’s real discoveries, at least for non-Norwegians, are five songs by Agathe Backer-Grøndahl, a friend of Grieg and a prolific and imaginative composer herself. Setting childlike, nature-inspired poetry to music, these are vivid little gems.

Contributor

Erica Jeal

The GuardianTramp

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