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Thread: Edvard Grieg

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    Default Edvard Grieg

    I suppose I am allowed to start a new thread here as I have not found this Norwegian composer mentioned yet. For starters, I would highly recommend the Peer Gynt Suite. It does not only contain the "overplayed" Hall of the Mountain King, but also such amazing pieces as Aase's Death:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB4m885sTeE

    I also liked Anitra's Dance from this one. I would welcome any futher recommendations of either other pieces or performance-wise. I enjoyed Karajan's reading of Peer Gynt Suite but perhaps there are other renditions worth mentioning...

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    Try the authentic version of Griegs "Peer Gynt" Gothenburg S.O. Neeme Jarvi
    on DG 423-079, you will hear tunes that maybe new to you and the overall result is very refreshing.

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    Ah, I love Peer Gynt Suite. I'm also fond of piano concerto in A minor for its simplicity and lyrical beauty.

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    Senior Member Kuhlau's Avatar
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    Two Grieg recommendations, neither of which I'd want to be without.

    The first is his Piano Concerto. Many fine performances of this have been committed to disc over the years, but IMO, only this one captures the real heart of this work:



    Ousset's playing in the beautiful slow movement will mesmerise you - just listen to how her first notes glide in seamlessly, as though part of the orchestral texture that leads up to them. She's also to be commended for a muscularity of playing in the outer movements that many male pianists have lacked - and I've heard plenty of them performing this work.

    My other recommendation is for Grieg's chamber works. Brilliant Classics released this complete set a few years ago, and it's worth it for the First String Quartet alone:



    The Raphael Quartet deliver an invigorating rendition of both of Grieg's string quartets, but it's their way with the First that always floors me. They leave the Kontra Quartet, to name just one alternative recorded version, far behind. A highly recommended three-CD set.

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    Last edited by Kuhlau; Nov-12-2008 at 15:21. Reason: Adding a few finishing touches.
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    The 2nd Sonata for violin and piano is a very beautiful composition and most people will really enjoy this music.

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    I really like his "Peer Gynt," I remember the first piece I heard was "Morning Mood" which I loved. Also I think "Solveigs' Song" is so emotional. I haven't heard any of Greig's music that I don't like.


    Margaret

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    Peer Gynt strikes me as one of his lesser works, but I really love the Haugtussa song cycle, which is a masterpiece, and which has been shamefully neglected. Although on reflection, it might be the difficulty in pronouncing Norwegian that puts sopranos off.

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    I think that, in recent decades, Grieg has been somewhat overshadowed by other composers of his generation. In contrast to this, during his lifetime, he was considered to be one of the greatest composers. Maybe, today we are somewhat more jaded, having been saturated with tv commercials & soundtracks which use his music. Like his contemporaries, Tchaikovsky & Dvorak, he was an excellent melodist, and his works seem to have immediate appeal. He had a lyrical bent, which is evident in the Piano Concerto, and was also an excellent miniaturist (eg. not only in Peer Gynt but the Lyric Pieces).

    I am yet to hear his chamber works, mentioned above, which are apparently excellent. & he wrote many songs of which I know only one, the famous I love thee. I only wish that they would play some of these on radio, were I seem to hear his bigger hits quite regularly.

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    This is a fine set with Ole Kristian Ruud and the Bergen Philharmonic. To my knowledge there are only two sets of Grieg orchestral music available: this one and the one with Jarvi/Gothenburg Symphony.

    I think I much prefer the interpretations found in the Ruud set. Jarvi is a great conductor, but I think Ruud has a better feel for Grieg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirror Image View Post
    This is a fine set with Ole Kristian Ruud and the Bergen Philharmonic. To my knowledge there are only two sets of Grieg orchestral music available: this one and the one with Jarvi/Gothenburg Symphony...
    With those boxed sets, looks like you have listened to all of his orchestral works.

    Which ones do you like & why?

    I like his Old Norwegian Romance & the Symphony. The former has a free flowing, rhapsodic quality about it which I like quite a bit. Longer works like this certainly put in doubt Debussy's famous remark in which he described Grieg as nothing more than a good miniaturist, a 'chocolate box composer.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    With those boxed sets, looks like you have listened to all of his orchestral works.

    Which ones do you like & why?

    I like his Old Norwegian Romance & the Symphony. The former has a free flowing, rhapsodic quality about it which I like quite a bit. Longer works like this certainly put in doubt Debussy's famous remark in which he described Grieg as nothing more than a good miniaturist, a 'chocolate box composer.'
    I like, of course, the entire composition of "Peer Gynt," but I also enjoy his "Piano Concerto," "Symphony in C minor," "Symphonic Dances," "Four Norwegian Dances," and "Two Elegiac Melodies for Strings."

    There are many reasons I enjoy Grieg's music. The main one being is he composed simply beautiful music that lets the listener know what his intentions are and where he is at in his life. I think it's a shame his music isn't discussed more.

    My tastes in composers is very wide ranging, but when I discovered Grieg my eyes become a little bit more wide open. Such a remarkable lyricism he demonstrated, which is one reason I enjoy his music so much.

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    The G minor string quartet is an excellent work which should be played more often.

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    my father used to play a record of Peer Gynt to me when I was a child. I love Grieg, and yes, I do think he is underrated.
    my special favourite from him next to Solveig and Morning is Wedding Day at Troldhaugen.

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    Talk about concertos, symphonies and suites all you like but grieg really shines in his miniatures. Try the Norwegian Folk Songs. Not really songs but piano miniatures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Talk about concertos, symphonies and suites all you like but grieg really shines in his miniatures. Try the Norwegian Folk Songs. Not really songs but piano miniatures.
    I was about to listen to them, but I couldn't find any avaiable recording. Except those from "Grieg plays Grieg" album, which I own. I guess these piano miniatures like Butterfly and others are what you're talkin about?

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