Edvard Grieg – From Holberg’s Time / Norwegian Wedding Dances
About Grieg’s music:
Edvard Grieg’s music had synergies with Chopin’s since he concentrated mainly on the piano. His Lyric Pieces for piano are all fairly short and reminiscent of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, and he has been labelled a “miniaturist” due to his affinity for short pieces rather than large-scale works. Indeed Grieg attempted to write a Symphony at one stage but did not complete it. The Piano Concerto is one of his largest works and is often compared to and recorded with Schumann’s Piano Concerto which is in the same key of A minor. Like Schumann, Grieg’s music sets out to be attractive and balanced rather than powerful with big dramatic statements in the German tradition, and his songs show his essentially romantic nature. His style was firmly traditional being rooted in melody and structure, while some of his contemporaries were moving towards the Late Romantic and Modernist periods, though this may be due in part to the fact that he wrote his most famous music as a young man. Nevertheless Grieg’s music is full of unusual harmonic inventions so he did help to push classical music in new directions. The other main factor within Grieg’s music is his use of Norwegian Folk Song, occasionally existing melodies but usually original themes strongly based on the style of his local folk traditions. In this respect his music mirrored Dvorak’s use of Czech folk styles and other “nationalistic” composers from various countries, and paved the way for the later Scandanavian composers Carl Nielsen from Denmark and Jean Sibelius from Finland. The lyrical and programmatic nature of Grieg’s music was also to influence some of the French impressionist composers such as Debussy and Ravel.
About these works:
Holberg Suite, Op. 40 more properly “From Holberg’s Time”, (German: Aus Holbergs Zeit, Norwegian: Fra Holbergs tid), but originally called “Suite in old style” (Norwegian: Suite i gammel 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 playwright Ludvig Holberg. It is an example of a piece of 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. This suite is not as famous as the incidental music from Peer Gynt, which is usually performed as arranged in a pair of suites itself, but many critics see them as equal.
The movements of the suite are:
4. Air (Andante religioso)
Though originally composed for the piano, the version most well known today is the arrangement by the composer for string orchestra.
The Norwegian Wedding Dances were composed by Grieg on 1869. They capture characteristics of Norway such as the peaceful nature of the country or the culture and soul of the Norwegian people. Grieg’s works were always pure, charming, graceful, lyrical and emotionally passionate, reflecting his love of his country and this set of piano works are a good example of that.
01. Holberg Suite – Prelude (2:46)
02. Holberg Suite – Sarabande (4:10)
03. Holberg Suite – Gavotte (3:08)
04. Holberg Suite / Andante religioso (5:37)
05. Holberg Suite / Rigandon (3:12)
06. Norwegian Wedding Dances / Bridal march (3:28)
07. Norwegian Wedding Dances / Nils Revkes halling (1:05)
08. Norwegian Wedding Dances / Bridal march from Telemark (3:19)
09. Norwegian Wedding Dances / Hallingtanz (4:00)
10. Norwegian Wedding Dances / Troll wedding in Vossevangen (2:21)
11. Norwegian Wedding Dances / The girls from Kivte (1:29)
12. Ballade in G minor (18:11)
L. Pesek: Conductor
Stefan Jesechko: piano
mp3, 320 kbps, cd ripping, DDD, 52:49 minutes. Covers included.