Edvard Grieg was much in demand as a soloist in the latter part of his life. His many short works for piano solo, as well as his famous concerto, led to his music being well known and loved across Europe. He left a number of piano rolls, but more importantly in 1903 he recorded a few records for the G&T company in Paris. These show his spirited and fresh approach to performing his own works. His style is flexible, charming, by turns sometimes capricious, but always controlled within the bounds of impeccable taste and musical understanding.
Some stimulating comparisons and distinctions can be made between Grieg’s own performances and those of Arthur de Greef (whose playing Grieg very much liked), as well recordings by other pianists from the first few decades of the 20th century.
I rather feel that Grieg’s own way with is own works is generally a much better way than we hear them performed now, and which was already being eroded by other younger pianists even when these records were made.
“I dedicate this music that fills my heart with joy to all my friends with all my love, appreciation and hope for a better tomorrow!”
The movements of the suite are:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Holberg Suite, Op. 40, more properly “From Holberg’s Time” (Norwegian: Fra Holbergs tid, German: Aus Holbergs Zeit), subtitled “Suite in olden style” (Norwegian: Suite i gammel stil, German: Suite im alten Stil), is a suite of five movements based on eighteenth century dance forms, written by Edvard Grieg in 1884 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Danish-Norwegian humanist playwright Ludvig Holberg.
nineteenth century music which makes use of musical styles and forms from the preceding century. It can be compared with Franz Liszt‘s À la Chapelle Sixtine, S.360 (1862) and contrasted with later neoclassical works.
The Holberg Suite was originally composed for the piano, but a year later was adapted for string orchestra. The suite consists of an introduction and a set of dances. It is a charming, early essay in neo-classicism, an attempt to echo as much as was known in Grieg’s time of the music of Holberg’s era.
The concerto is in three movements:
*Allegro molto moderato (A minor)
*Adagio (D flat major)
*Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Quasi presto – Andante maestoso (A minor → F major → A minor → A major)
The first movement is noted for the timpani roll in the first bar that leads to a dramatic piano flourish. The movement is in the Sonata form. The movement finishes with a virtuosic cadenza and a similar flourish as in the beginning.
The second movement is a lyrical movement in D flat major, which leads directly into the third movement.
The third movement opens in A minor 4/4 time with an energetic theme (Theme 1), which is followed by a lyrical 3/4 theme in F Major (Theme 2). The movement returns to Theme 1. Following this recapitulation is the 3/4 A Major Quasi presto section, which consists of a variation of Theme 1. The movement concludes with the Andate maestoso in A Major (or in A mixolydian), which consists of a dramatic rendition of Theme 2 (as opposed to the lyrical fashion with which Theme 2 is introduced).
Performance time of the whole concerto is around 28 minutes.
Edvard Grieg: Born in Bergen 1843.
After being taught piano by his mother, he went to the Leipzig Conservatory at the age of 15 to study music where his teachers included Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke. He then lived in Copenhagen and came under the influence of Niels W.
Gade who encouraged him to compose a symphony and there also met fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak who inspired Grieg to champion the cause of Norwegian music. He went on to become his country’s greatest and most famous composer who excelled in many genres including orchestral, chamber, solo piano, vocal and choral. His output of purely orchestral music was small but included
his Piano Concerto, Symphonic Dances and the 2 Suites derived from his incidental music to Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt.”
Lyder Wenzel Nicolaysen
Niels Björnson Möller
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
To Melodier, Op. 53 (1890)
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Terje Tonnesen
Publisher Info.:Leipzig, C.F. Peters, n.d.(1891). Plate 7628.
Grieg plays “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” (Recorded 1903)
|“Wedding Day at Troldhaugen” (Norwegian: Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen) is a musical piece composed by Edvard Grieg.[n 1] It is the sixth piano piece in the eighth book of his Lyric Pieces, bearing the opus number 65. There has been some discussion about the quality and proportion of this composition in relation to the whole book.|
Originally called “Gratulanterne kommer” (The well-wishers are coming), it was written in 1896 as a memorial of the 25th wedding anniversary of Grieg and his wife Nina. The anniversary celebration had been held in the Fossli Hotel near the Vøringsfossen waterfall in June 1892. Grieg and his wife celebrated their wedding anniversary with Borre and Nancy Giertsen. Nancy was the sister of Marie Beyer, then married to Frants Beyer, Grieg’s best friend. She belonged to their closest circle of friends at Troldhaugen. During the occasion a guest book was ready to take contributions from all the guests.
Grieg gave the work its final title in 1897 when he compiled Book VIII, Op. 65, of his Lyric Pieces. The work’s festive first section describes congratulations and best wishes that are given by the guests to the newlyweds; the second section is reflective and subdued.