A Question About Grieg

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dulcinea
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A Question About Grieg

Post by dulcinea » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:40 pm

The Weasels are very fond of Grieg, and constantly play his one and only symphony.
It's an immature work, of course; nevertheless it's a promising piece that shows undeniable talent, which naturally leads to the question of why EG did not write any other pieces of that genre.
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John F
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Re: A Question About Grieg

Post by John F » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:23 pm

At his death Grieg left sketches for a second symphony, but I don't know what they amount to. The list of his works, especially his published works, and their performance history show that he preferred to compose miniatures. His only successful large-scale orchestral work is the piano concerto; his suites and incidental music for orchestra are collections of short pieces. His biggest work for solo piano is the Ballade, op. 24, less than 20 minutes long and in the form of variations, not much of a formal challenge. His violin sonatas and string quartets are attractive but seldom played, though Fritz Kreisler and Sergei Rachmaninoff recorded the third sonata in 1928. If you'd like to hear it, here's the first movement:



Personally, I like the lyric pieces for piano best - descended from Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, they are full of character. Here's "Butterfly," op. 43 no. 1:



And of course the music for "Peer Gynt," which I don't need to play for you.
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Wallingford
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Re: A Question About Grieg

Post by Wallingford » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:06 pm

Another large-scale work of Grieg's is the Piano Sonata, Op. 7--another product of his student days in Leipzig. Has its moments, is all I can say. There was also a projected unfinished opera, Olav Trygvason.

Here's another noteworthy Lyric Piece, called "Bell Ringing".....Debussy must've had this one fresh in his mind when he wrote "La Cathedrale Engloutie":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtSbLHjW_8o
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John F
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Re: A Question About Grieg

Post by John F » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:20 pm

Thanks, Wallingford. I should have said, "biggest mature work for solo piano."

Some of Grieg's music is indeed harmonically more adventurous than you'd think from his best-known works such as "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen." I hadn't heard "Bell Ringing" before - remarkable. The Slåtter, op.72 can get pretty dissonant too.

John Francis

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