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Author Topic: Grieg  (Read 4868 times)
pianochick93
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« on: September 04, 2007, 08:28:16 AM »

This isn't really piano related, so I'll put it here. It is the 100th anniversary of Grieg's death today.

Everyone post their favourite song by Grieg!

Mine is either Anitra's Dance or his Piano Concerto in A minor.
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imbetter
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 10:11:02 PM »

violin sonata no.3


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"My advice to young musicians: Quit music! There is no choice. It has to be a calling, and even if it is and you think there's a choice, there is no choice"-Vladimir Feltsman
pianistimo
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2007, 12:14:31 AM »

agreed on the piano concerto in A minor.  michael thomas roder writes: 'norway's first noteable composer of romantic music was edvard grieg (1843-1907).  he studied piano at the leipzig conservatory for four years, beginning in 1858 at age fifteen.  his teachers included e.f. wenzel, friend and champion of robert schumann and moscheles.  he also studied composition, but never felt he had received the training necessary to write for orchestra' (personally, i think he'd done just fine)

also, mr. roeder goes on to say that grieg never became a virtuoso performer, nor did he stress virtuosic elements in his compositions.  preferring instead in the creation of lyric miniatures, particularly songs and short lyric piano pieces.  his most successful large-scale composition was the a-minor concerto (composed when he was 25).  the concerto does have strong virtuoso content, particularly in the cadenza of the first movement - which franz liszt sightread the first time in 1870 when he met grieg. 

grieg dedicated this concerto to edmund nupert (1842-1888) who first performed the work in the spring of 1869 in copenhagen under the direction of the composer.  (liszt had suggested the second theme have trumpets instead of cellos - but at the end of griegs life - he switched the orchestration back to cello). 

the concerto is 'very clearly modeled on schumann's in the same key and shares with it a similar striking piano opening followed by a lyrical idea presented by the orchestra and then repeated by the piano.  chopin was grieg's favorite composer and you can hear some of chopin's style in the piece too, particularly the nocturne-like treatment of the first movement's second theme in the piano.  some critics referred to grieg as 'the chopin of the north.'
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leonidas
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 12:48:47 AM »

Mass respect to this legend.

I have his complete piano works on cd, many many nice little pieces, and just to name one - I recently discovered op29, a little gem.
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ahinton
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 06:27:30 AM »

Years ago, I used to be rather sniffy about Grieg's music, which fact says far more about my ignorance of some of it at the time than it can possibly tell about Grieg. I still find the piano concerto largely tiresome (even after having heard some pretty convincing performances of it), with its persistent 2- and 4- bar phrases glued together, but there's much finer Grieg than this. The Lyric Pieces, for example, owe more to Schumann than to Chopin, but they're none the worse for that and there's no end of characterful and skilful writing there, even though it's hardly destined to set the world alight. I actually wrote a set of piano variations on Åse's Death from the Peer Gynt music years ago (which, if you'll forgive the shameless advertising, gets its next performance in Esbjerg, Denmark at the hands of Jørgen Hald Nielsen on 13 November this year; it's been recorded by Donna Amato on Altarus - AIR-CD-9021 - along with some shorter works including Ronald Stevenson's transcription of Grieg's song Den Bergtekne).

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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nicco
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 07:22:08 AM »

Respect for using Norwegian letters Alistair Cool

Later this year we are having a Grieg masterclass in my conservatory, where Einar Steen Nøkleberg (famous norwegian teacher, currently teaching in Germany somewhere) is coming to talk and teach. Ill try my luck on the A minor myself, hopefully he will have some good suggestions about it.
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"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
retrouvailles
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 07:55:16 AM »

I quite enjoy various Peer Gynt selections. There is something in them that cannot be matched. I also quite enjoy your variations, Alistair! I listened to them today as a fitting tribute.
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mephisto
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 11:48:47 AM »

There are also the songs. Many beautifull harmonies there. I do actually like the Concerto a lot, even though it is overplayed.
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ahinton
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2007, 01:00:56 PM »

I quite enjoy various Peer Gynt selections. There is something in them that cannot be matched. I also quite enjoy your variations, Alistair! I listened to them today as a fitting tribute.
Thank you very much!

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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