Soprano Lise Davidsen and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, two Norwegian artists who have risen to the top of the classical music world, have collaborated for the first time on their new album, featuring songs by Norway’s greatest composer Edvard Grieg, out now. Gramophone described the album, which is their Recording of the Month for January 2022, as, “A stunning display of range and technical control …An outstanding release.” Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes will perform songs from their Grieg album on their European tour in January.
The soprano with a “one-in-a-million voice”
Few young singers have received such critical acclaim as Lise Davidsen who has been hailed by The New York Times as the soprano with a “one-in-a-million voice”. Since winning Plácido Domingo’s Operalia and Queen Sonja competitions in 2015, she has starred in leading roles at the world’s greatest opera houses and has released two UK Classical Number 1 albums – her self-titled debut album of Strauss and Wagner songs and her second studio album, Beethoven • Wagner • Verdi. Her compatriot, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, has been praised by The Wall Street Journal as, “one of the most gifted musicians of his generation.”
Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes immersed themselves in music that is central to their country’s musical identity and recorded their album, Edvard Grieg, in the Norwegian town of Bodø in the Arctic Circle. “Everyone in Norway knows this music,” explained Lise Davidsen. “I am very aware of the conventions of how it ‘should’ be done and by whom. This project was about listening to the music on our own terms, trying to find our Grieg sound.”
Features Grieg’s only song cycle Haugtussa
Haugtussa, Grieg’s only song cycle, forms the centrepiece of the album and the pivotal song is ‘Møte’ (which roughly translates as a meeting, or an encounter). “My working title for the album was Møte,” explained Lise Davidsen. “The song exemplifies the whole project: Leif Ove and I meeting musically for the first time, discovering this repertoire and working together on Grieg’s music was itself a unique, emotional meeting for me.”
The album also includes Six Songs, where the influence of Norwegian folk melodies is clearly heard, and the German-language Five Poems which demonstrates Grieg’s mastery of a more continental approach to Lied as well as his expressive range.
Lise Davidsen said, “I’m very proud of this all-Norwegian album. I hope people enjoy listening to it, and I look forward to sharing it with audiences around the world.”
Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes will perform repertoire from their Grieg album, along with songs by Strauss and Wagner, on their European tour in January 2022:
6 January: Berlin (Staatsoper Unter den Linden)
8 January: Madrid (Teatro Real)
9 January: Munich (Bayerische Staatsoper)
11 January: Vienna (Wiener Konzerthaus)
13 January: London (Barbican)
Lise Davidsen and Leif Ove Andsnes’ new album Edvard Grieg can be bought here.