P1193. PERCY GRAINGER: Sonata #3 in f (Brahms); Sonata #3 in b (Chopin); Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (Grieg); Paraphrase on Tschaikowsky's Flower Waltz (Played by the Composer). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-280, recorded 1924-26. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Percy Grainger was known during his lifetime as a virtuoso pianist and arranger of popular English folk song. Grainger's early reputation was as a brilliant and eccentric pianist, and it was this talent that not only provided his income for the rest of his life, but also brought him into contact with other composers. Grieg and Delius, in particular, had great influence on Grainger's development of a sympathy and sensitivity toward unique national and folk styles.”
- Rovi, allmusic.com
“Percy Grainger was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many adaptations of other composers' works. Although much of his work was experimental and unusual, the piece with which he is most generally associated is his piano arrangement of the folk-dance tune ‘Country Gardens’.
As his stature in the music world increased, Grainger became acquainted with many of its leading figures, including Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Richard Strauss and Debussy. In 1907 he met Frederick Delius, with whom he achieved an immediate rapport – the two musicians had similar ideas about composition and harmony, and shared a dislike for the classical German masters. Both were inspired by folk music; Grainger gave Delius his setting of the folksong ‘Brigg Fair’, which the older composer developed into his famous orchestral rhapsody, dedicated to Grainger. The two remained close friends until Delius's death in 1934.
Grainger first met Grieg in May 1906. As a student Grainger had learned to appreciate the Norwegian's harmonic originality, and by 1906 had several Grieg pieces in his concert repertoire, including the piano concerto. Grieg was greatly impressed with Grainger's playing, and wrote that the Australian was ‘a genius that we Scandinavians cannot do other than love’. Through 1906–7 the two maintained a mutually complimentary correspondence, which culminated in Grainger's ten-day visit in July 1907 to the composer's Norwegian home, ‘Troldhaugen’ near Bergen. Here the two spent much time revising and rehearsing the piano concerto in preparation for that year's Leeds Festival. Their plans for a long-term working relationship were thwarted by Grieg's sudden death in September 1907; this relatively brief acquaintance had a considerable impact on Grainger, and he championed Grieg's music for the rest of his life.”
- Zillah D. Akron
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011