20 Jul 2014

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 20 July 2014
Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg Photo: Elliot and Fry, Public Domain

 

When considering Grieg, Rachel Hyde quickly realised that although a handful of his works are very well-known, others languish in obscurity.

Grieg’s importance to Norwegian music cannot be overemphasized. He is the most important composer that Norway has ever produced, exerting an enormous influence on the history of Norwegian music. Part of the secret of his central position in Norwegian musical history has to do with the era in which he worked.

Up to 1814 Norway had been totally subject to Denmark, with Copenhagen as its cultural centre. From the 18th century however, a national Romantic movement had taken root. The bearers of Norwegian culture, and those who loved Norwegian music, had hoped and dreamed of a music that would express that which was distinctively Norwegian. This idea reached its climax in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and Grieg was the man of the hour. His unique genius meant that he was able to grasp these historical aspirations and give them artistic expression through his music.

Rachel touches on Grieg's famous works while encouraging us to explore some of the lesser-known gems.

Music Details:

GRIEG: Morning, from Peer Gynt - Gothenburg SO/ Neeme Jarvi (DG 423 079)
GRIEG: String Quartet in G minor, mvt 1  - Guarneri Quartet (Philips 426 286)
GRIEG: Norwegian Melody  - Leif Ove Andsnes (pno) (EMI 5 57296)
GRIEG: Symphony in C minor, mvt 2  - Gothenburg SO/ Neeme Jarvi (DG 427 321)
GRIEG: Funeral March in Memory of Rikard Nordraak  - Gothenburg SO/ Neeme Jarvi (DG 427 321)
GRIEG: Jeg elsker Dig - Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Bengt Forsberg (pno) (DG 437 521)
GRIEG: Letzter Frühling  - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (sop), Geoffrey Parsons (pno) (EMI CHS 5 65860)
GRIEG: Varen  - The Trondheim Soloists/ Bjarne Fiskum (director) (Victoria VCD 19066)
GRIEG: Piano Conc in A minor - Stephen Kovacevich (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Sir Colin Davis (Philips 446 192)
GRIEG: Norronafolket  - Gothenburg SO/ Neeme Jarvi (DG 423 079)
GRIEG: Peer Gynt's Return - Philips 438 380 - English Chamber Orchestra/ Raymond Leppard (Philips 420 081)
GRIEG: Ballade in G minor - U063 - Leif Ove Andsnes (pno) (EMI 3 94399)
GRIEG: Ballade in G minor - U063 - Leif Ove Andsnes (pno) (EMI 3 94399)
GRIEG: Homesickness  - Leif Ove Andsnes (pno) (EMI 5 57296)
GRIEG: In the hall of the mountain king - A220 - English Chamber Orchestra/ Raymond Leppard (Philips 420 081)

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