Last year, Grand Piano released pianist Carl Petersson’s world première recording of Helge Evju’s Piano Concerto in B minor based on fragments by Edvard Grieg. Grieg never finished his second piano concerto, which was finally reconstructed and completed by Evju. The CD was critically acclaimed, with American Record Guide describing the B minor concerto as “a cunningly shrewd work, very entertaining, and well worth the attention of pianophiles.” Gramophone also praised the album, stating “[the B minor concerto] makes the disc appealing…played with commanding virtuosity by Petersson.”
Carl Petersson gave the U.S. première of Evju’s B minor concerto on 19 November, with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta.
“The re-imagined Grieg came next. The crowd loved it. Evju did an admirable job of weaving the fragments together, adding a few ideas of his own and also drawing inspiration from other Grieg works. He is clearly a fine orchestrator and created a full, resonant Romantic sound. Petersson played from memory, showing his commitment to this piece. He danced his way through the elaborate piano part with a captivating grace…the concerto is an impressive achievement, and a joy to listen to. For anyone attending the Nov. 12 concert, my advice would be: don’t sweat the details, just sit back and enjoy.’
– The Buffalo News
“The Buffalo Philharmonic and I had the wonderful privilege of performing the USA premier of Helge Evju's beautiful "re-imagining" of Edvard Grieg's second piano concerto with pianist Carl Petersson. Grieg did not complete this concerto, but Maestro Evju was able to take his precious sketches and build upon them to create this beautiful work. Filled with poetry, lyricism and grandeur, the work summoned the spirit of Grieg into the concert hall, and absolutely enchanted our audience.”
– JoAnn Falletta
“It certainly was something special to perform with the great JoAnn Falletta and her Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Without any doubt the concert was magical... This was not only confirmed by the press and critics but especially the audience that gave us all a standing ovation - twice. The more I perform this piano concerto I find more and more hidden depths and I hope to be able to perform this hidden gem by Evju many more times.”
– Carl Petersson