Christian Grøvlen - BACH - Inside Polyphony

Review Christian Grøvlen - BACH - Inside Polyphony

The Norwegian label 2L was there from the outset, when the audiophile-oriented listeners had to be extensively convinced that high-resolution and highest-resolution digital sound recordings could be equal, even superior to analog recordings process, if prepared with great effort and utmost care. Quickly it was around that the recordings of the Norwegians are audiophile extra class. At the beginning, there were 2L productions on Blu-rays. In the meantime, 2L also publishes mainly in the free download format. 2L obviously also sees itself as a promoter for artists of Norwegian origin, such as the pianist Christian Grøvlen, who aims to help the listener to new insights into the polyphone world of the Leipzig super musician with the exclusively J.S. Bach dedicated album BACH - Inside Polyphony.

In the booklet, one can read that Christian Grøvlen, as a piano eleve following to a period of initial enthusiasm for Bach's preludes and fugues for keyboard instruments, had lost sight of Bach for several years, until as a still young professional of the piano playing he overnight again became an addict of Bach's polyphony. Love at second glance is said to be more lasting and ultimately more intense than love at first sight. In the case of Christian Grøvlen, it ultimately led to motivate the producers of 2L to ban the insights gained by their piano-playing countryman of the world of the most famous of all Thomaskantors after an intensive analysis of his works to an album, the first ever played in by of the pianist.

Christian Grøvlen calls Andras Schiff an idol. However, he does not imitate this master’s clever and enormously colorful kind Bach, just as little as the nervous play of the Bach-rebel Glenn Gould. Rather, Christian Grøvlen cultivates a light, lively and downright youthful, unshakable way of playing Bach. The self-imposed ambitious goal of producing lucid polyphony through completely independent guidance of the voices is perfect realized. This is beneficial to the structure of the compositions, which is easily accessible to the listener even in strong interlacing of the voices. The pianist proves a high degree of dexterity in the faster movements by a very fast pace, which gives the little space for content development. How this can be organized in a thrilling manner can be listened to at recordings of Glenn Gould. How slower movements can be filled with content is confidently demonstrated by Andras Schiff. It is probably due to the youth of Christian Grøvlen that he is more interested in and challenged by the complex form of Bach's compositions than by their content. It will be exciting how the Norwegian pianist will perform the polyphonic works of Bach in five or ten years, whether he will give his infinitely virtuosic technique more inwardness, or whether he remains on the predominantly virtuoso track.

The characteristic sound of the label 2L, which is characterized by unrivaled clarity, enhances the clarity-oriented Bach interpretations of the Norwegian pianist.

Christian Grøvlen, piano

Christian Grøvlen - BACH - Inside Polyphony

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