Johan Halvorsen (1864- 1935) was a nephew of Grieg’s by marriage, and conducted the orchestra at his uncle’s funeral in 1907; Halvorsen was also a brilliant violinist, noted conductor and very gifted composer, and in very recent times his music has, like that of Hans Gal, seen a considerable rise in interest from the record companies. This outstanding new record of some of his copious output of chamber music is  very welcome, for the performances are particularly convincing, revealing Halvorsen to have been an important figure in Scandinavian music, the more so, perhaps, as one of these works would appear to be particularly significant – but such appearances are deceptive (as they often are in Grieg’s music) for we can identify some notably original aspects of composition here which place Halvorsen very  much in a class of his own amongst his Scandinavian contemporaries.  Halvorsen certainly speaks  with an individual voice, but a wide-ranging one too, especially  in the Little Dance Suite (Kleine Tanzsuite) where each movement is based on characteristics of individual  national airs from various European countries. It is a
truly delightful work contrasting well with the Sarabande with Variations and the beautiful Elegie  (1896). The varied instrumentation of these pieces is another fascination for the attentive listener, and the recording quality does these highly gifted and committed musicians complete justice, as do the very full and necessarily informative booklet notes. This is a most impressive and,
in its way, valuable record.