Edvard Grieg  
Edvard Grieg

Grieg in 1888, with signature, portrait published in The Leisure Hour (1889)
Edvard Grieg, in full Edvard Hagerup Grieg (born June 15, 1843, Bergen, Nor.—died Sept. 4, 1907, Bergen), composer who was a founder of the Norwegian nationalist school of music.

His father, Alexander Grieg, was British consul at Bergen. The Grieg (formerly Greig) family was of Scottish origin, the composer’s grandfather having emigrated after the Battle of Culloden. His mother, Gesine Hagerup, who belonged to a well-established Norwegian family, studied music at Hamburg. From the age of six Grieg received piano lessons from her, and in 1858, at the recommendation of the violin virtuoso Ole Bull, he entered the Leipzig Conservatory, where he was influenced by the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann. During this period he suffered a severe attack of pleurisy from which he never really recovered. In 1863 he went to Copenhagen, where his development came from his association in 1864 with the young Norwegian nationalist composer Rikard Nordraak. “Through him,” said Grieg, “I first learned to know the northern folk tunes and my own nature.” In the winter of 1864–65 Grieg became one of the founders of the Copenhagen concert society, Euterpe, for the production of works by young Scandinavian composers. In 1867 he married his cousin, Nina Hagerup, who became an authoritative interpreter of his songs. He spent the winters of 1865–66 and 1869–70 in Rome, where he first met Ibsen and also Liszt, who was roused to enthusiasm by his piano concerto. In 1866 he settled in Christiania (now Oslo), remaining there until 1874, when he was granted an annual stipend of 1,600 crowns by the Norwegian government. In 1885 he built his home, “Troldhaugen,” near Bergen. In spite of poor health, Grieg made several tours in Scandinavia, on the Continent, and in England, playing his piano concerto in London in 1888.

Rooted in the national folk tradition of Norway, Grieg’s music is noted for a refined lyrical sense. Between 1867 and 1901 he wrote ten collections of Lyric Pieces (Lyriske Stykker) for piano. His spirited rhythms often have a folk song association. His harmonies, developed from the late Romantic style, were considered novel. In his few works in the larger forms—the Piano Concerto, Opus 16; the String Quartet in G Minor, Opus 27; and the three violin and piano sonatas—he uses a free sonata form. His original Ballad for piano, Opus 24, is a set of variations on a folk theme. Among his most popular works are his incidental music to Peer Gynt, Opus 23, and the suite Holberg, Opus 40. His arrangements of Norwegian dances and songs, Opus 17 and Opus 66, and especially his Slåtter, Norwegian Peasant Dances, Opus 72, show his characteristic sense of rhythm and harmony. His vocal works include the songs on texts of A.O. Vinje, Opus 33; and the Haugtussa cycle, Opus 67. Intuitively, he identified himself with the poet’s imagery in these songs and discovered its musical equivalent.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Edvard Grieg and Nina Hagerup (Grieg's wife and first cousin) in 1899
Edvard Grieg, born in Bergen, Norway, received music lessons from his mother at the age of six. In 1853 he was sent to the Leipzig Conservatoire where he studied piano and composition. He did not enjoy life at the Conservatoire; in 1860 he had to take time off after suffering a violent attack of pleurisy that left him with recurring respiratory troubles. He returned to Norway in 1862 and the following year travelled to Copenhagen m order to forge a career as a pianist. There he met his cousin and future-wife, Nina Hayerup.

At this time Norwegian culture was heavily overshadowed by Danish influence. As Grieg grew older, however, he became increasingly conscious of the musical potential of his own country's folk-culture and began to promote Norwegian nationalism by writing pieces based on traditional popular music.

In 1867 he produced his first set of miniature pieces for piano, the Lyric pieces, which consists of eight short movements in contrasting moods. Over the course of his life he wrote nine further collections under the same title, each gathering together between six and eight short but beautifully constructed movements of an individual character. The following year Grieg finished what has become one of his best-known pieces, the Piano concerto in A minor. It is a striking and technically demanding work that retains much of its original freshness even today.

Grieg started work on the suite Peer Gynt when the playwright Ibsen asked him to provide music for his play of that name. The first performance m 1 876 was a resounding success and made Grieg into a national figure overnight. In the same year he attended and thoroughly enjoyed the first performance of Wagner's cycle of four operas, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The ring cycle). Yet musically the two composers could not be further apart: Wagner produced colossal pieces lasting over tour hours while Grieg concentrated on concise and beautiful miniatures.

In 1884 Grieg accepted a commission to write a piece to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of the Norwegian philosopher and playwright, Ludvig Holberg. The resulting Holberg suite is a five-movement piece for piano written in the manner of an eighteenth-century dance suite. Several months later he arranged it for string orchestra, in which form the lyrical and graceful music has become popular.

By 1885 Grieg had established a considerable reputation. He built himself a house at Troldhaugen, where he lived for the rest of his life. Over the next 20 years he managed to establish a pattern of composing in the spring and early summer, fitting in a walking holiday in late summer and then spending the autumn and winter on lengthy concert tours. The impulse to travel never left him and even in his final years he continued with gruelling concert schedules around Europe. In the last year of his life he visited Berlin and Kiel; he was making plans to leave for England when he was taken ill and died. He was buried near his house in the wall of a cliff which overhangs a fjord.

Grieg shied away from the larger forms of musical expression, such as the symphony and the opera, but in his preferred field - as a miniaturist — he is without equal. His music, highly individual and with a nationalist flavour, has almost universal appeal.


Edvard Grieg (1891) portrait by Eilif Peterssen

Valeria Walewska
Piano concerto Op.16 in A minor
Allegro molto moderato
Allegro moderato
Erik Helling
Piano Sonata in E minor Op.7
Allegro moderato
Andante molto
Alla menuetto
Finale: Molto allegro
K.E. Jensen
Funeral March 
(in memory of Rikard Nordraak)
C. Breemer
Norwegian Dances and Folk Song, Op.17

1  - Springdans (Folk Dance) 
2  - Ungersvennen (The Young Man) 
3  - Springdans (Folk Dance) 
4  - Niels Tallefjoren 
5  - Jölstring (Dance From Jölster) 
6  - Brurelat (Wedding Song) 
7  - Halling (National Dance) 
8  - Grisen (The Pig) 
9  - Nar mitt oye (Religious Song) 
10 - Friervise (Wooer's Song) 
11 - Kjempevise (Heroic Ballad) 
12 - Solfager og ormekongen (Solfager And The Snake-King) 
13 - Reiselat (Travel Song) 
14 - Jeg sjunger med sorrigfullt hjerte (I Sing With A Sorrowful Heart) 
15 - Den siste Lordagskvelden (Last Saturday Evening) 
16 - Eg veit ei lita Jente (I Know A Little Maiden) 
17 - Kleggen og Fluga (The Horsefly And The Fly) 
18 - Stabbelaten (Peasant Dance) 
19 - Hölje Dale (The High Valley) 
20 - Halling (National Dance) 
21 - Saebygga (The Woman From Setestal) 
22 - Kulokk (Cow Call) 
23 - Sag du nokke te kjerringa mi (Have You By Chance Seen My Wife) 
24 - Brurelat (Wedding Song) 
25 - Rabnabryllup (The Raven's Wedding)
J. Wallaart, K.E. Jensen, E. Helling, G. Alianello
Lyric Pieces ("Lyrische Stucke")
Book I, Op.12 

Folk Song
Norwegian Melody

Book III, Op.43 
Lonely Wanderer
To Spring
Book IV, Op.47 
Book V, Op.54 
Norwegian Peasant's March
Bell Ringing
Book VIII, Op.65 
From Early Years
Peasant's Song

Wedding-day at Troldhaugen
Book X, Op.71 

C. Breemer
Slatter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op. 72
Giboens Brautmarsch
John Wastafa's Springtanz
Brautmarsch aus Telemarken
Halling aus dem Hugel
Der Prillar aus dem Kirchspiel Os
Getretener Tanz (nach "dem Muller")
Halling aus dem Hallingtal
Brautmarsch (nach "dem Muller")
Nils Rekve's Halling

Knut Lurasens Halling I


Kaila Rochelle
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op46
Anitra's Dance
Hall of the Mountain King


Peer Gynt, Incidental Music op.23
Robin Alciatore
Solveig's Song


Eichstatter Domchor
Ave, maris stella

The very best of Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt - Suites - 1 and 2
Peer Gynt Suites 1 and 2
Incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play. (1875, Op. 23)

Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE
Guillermo Garcia Calvo - Conductor

Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (1888):
I. Morning Mood (Morgenstemning) 00:01
II. The Death of Åse (Åses død) 04:31
III. Anitra's Dance (Anitras dans) 09:39
IV. In the Hall of the Mountain King (I Dovregubbens hall) 13:14

Suite No. 2, Op. 55 (1891):
I. The Abduction of the Bride. Ingrid's Lament (Bruderovet. Ingrids klage) 15:48
II. Arabian Dance (Arabisk dans) 20:14
III. Peer Gynt's Homecoming (Stormy Evening on the Sea) (Peer Gynts hjemfart (Stormfull aften på havet)) 24:58
IV. Solveig's Song (Solveigs sang) 27:36

EDVARD GRIEG.- Peer Gynt. ( Música de escena)
Peer Gynt. ( Música de escena)

Marcha nupciale b
Plainte de Ingrid
Dans la Halle du roi de la montagne
Au matin
La mort de Ase
Danza Arabe
Chanson de Solveig a
Danse de Anitra
Scene de la tempere
Berceuse de Solveig a

Soprano: Ilse Hollweg

Beecham Choral Society

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Director: Sir Thomas Beecham

Edvard Grieg - Solveig's Song
Solveig's Song by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Grieg Solveig Song-Anna Nestrebko
Anna Yuryevna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко, ; born 18 September 1971) is a Russian operatic soprano. She now holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenship and currently resides in Vienna. She has been nicknamed "La Bellissima" by fans.
Solveig Song-Anna Nestrebko
Solveig's Song (Norwegian: Solveigs sang), is sung by Solveig in the fourth act of Edvard Grieg's original Peer Gynt Op. 23, and for Suite No. 2, Op. 55, which was written as incidental music for inclusion in Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt
Sarah Brightman - Solveigs Song
Edvard Grieg - Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16
Allegro Molto Moderato (0:02) [13.11]
Adagio (13:14) [6.05]
Allegro Moderato Molto E Marcato Quasi Presto Andante Maestoso (19:20) [10.20]

This concerto in three movements was composed by Edvard Grieg in 1868.
Performer Dubravka Tomsic
Radio Symphony Orchestra Ljubljana
Conductor: Anton Nanut

Recorded in 1992, the track from the album The Essential Grieg,

Edvard Grieg - String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 27
String Quartet No. 1 in g minor, Op. 27
(for 2 violins, viola and cello)

I. Un poco andante - Allegro molto ed agitato

II. Romanze. Andantino

III. Intermezzo. Allegro molto marcato - Più vivo e scherzando

IV. Finale. Lento - Presto al saltarello

Composed in 1878, when Grieg was around 35 years old.

Copenhagen String Quartet
ensemble, Recorded in the 1960's.
Tutter Givskov, violin.
Mogens Lydolph, violin.
Mogens Bruun, viola.
Asger Lund Christiansen, violoncello.

Edvard Grieg produced only one complete mature string quartet, the String Quartet in g minor, Op. 27 dating from 1878 when he was 35. The historical record indicates that it was a challenge for Grieg, a composer who was perhaps more accustomed to writing in smaller forms such as his celebrated art songs and Romantic piano miniatures. Yet his remains one of the most original and influential string quartets of the late 19th century, approximately contemporaneous with the first important quartets from Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Borodin and Dvořák. It was written in the same year as César Franck's piano quartet with which it shares some prominent elements of innovative cyclic design. Grieg's quartet even managed to impress the aloof Debussy who, fifteen years later wrote his only quartet in the same key, with more than a few striking similarities.
Like many composers (notably Schubert, Mendelsohn and Shostakovich), Grieg borrows from his own music for the main theme of the quartet: a portion of his somber song Spillamæd (Minstrels). The icy theme is announced in unison by the quartet right at the beginning, the emphatic slow introductory andante before the bristling allegro. Almost all of the musical material in the first movement is derived from it including several creative variations of the full theme itself in a wide range of expression and affect. There are at least eight clear permutations for the listener's delightful discovery. But like the cyclic designs of Franck and, later, Debussy, the theme extends beyond the bounds of the first movement to obliquely influence the second, reappear in the third and frame the fourth including a nearly literal restatement of the quartet's beginning just before the final conclusion. Though the complete work comprises a four-movement design with a great variety of music, it is fused together with a rare artistic unity.

Grieg - Violin sonata n°1 - Oistrakh / Oborin
Violin sonata n°1 op.8

I. Allegro con brio 0:00
II. Allegretto quasi andantino 9:28
III. Allegro molto vivace 14:47

David Oistrakh
Lev Oborin
Recorded in the USSR, 5.I.1957

Edvard Grieg: The Complete Violin Sonatas
Violinist: Terje Tonnesen
Piano: Einar Henning Smebye

Sonata No.1 for Violin and Piano Op.8 - Allegro con brio
Sonata No.1 for Violin and Piano Op.8 - Allegretto quasi andantio
Sonata No,1 for Violin and Piano Op.8 - Allegro molto vivace
Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano Op.13 - Lento doloroso-Allegro vivace
Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano Op.13 - Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza
Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano Op.13 - Allegro animato
Sonata No.3 for violin and piano Op.45 - Allegro agitato
Sonata No.3 for violin and piano Op.45 - Andante molto tranquillo
Sonata No.3 for violin and piano Op.45 - Allegro-Allegro molto e marcato

Leonid Kogan - Grieg - Violin Sonata No 1 in F major, Op 8
Violin Sonata No 1 in F major, Op 8

1 Allegro con brio
2 Allegretto quasi andantino
3 Allegro molto vivace

Leonid Kogan, violin
Grigory Ginzburg, piano

Recorded live, September 1947

Grieg - Violin sonata n°2 - Oistrakh / Yampolsky
Sonata for violin and piano n°2 op.13

I. Lento doloroso - Allegro vivace 0:00
II. Allegretto tranquillo 8:48
III. Allegro animato 15:55

David Oistrakh
Vladimir Yampolsky
Recorded 10.III.1958

Edvard Grieg - Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 36
Havard Gimse (piano), Oystein Birkeland (cello)
Edvard Grieg - Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 36
I. Allegro agitato
II. Andante molto tranquillo
III. Allegro - Allegro molto
Edvard Grieg - Complete Piano Music ( Vol IV )
01 - Waltz Caprices Op. 37 00:01
02 - Lyrical Pieces Op. 38 10:16
03 - Holberg Suite Op. 40 29:49
04 - Transcriptons of Origianl Songs Op. 41 47:10
Edvard Grieg - Chamber Music
01 - Intermezzo for Cello and Piano (EG 115) 00:01
02 - Andante con Moto 03:42
03 - Cello Sonata in A Minor Op.36 12:18
04 - From Holberg's Time Op.40 40:52
11 - Solveig's Song, Op 23 no.18 01:01:07
13 - From Monte Pincio, Op. 39 01:10:28
14 - A Swan Op.25 01:15:30
15 - Spring Op.33 01:17:55
16 - Henrik Wergeland Op.58 1:25:42
17 - Two Melodies For String Orchestra Op.53 01:29:59
19 - Two Nordic Melodies for the String Orchestra Op.63 01:38:07
22 - Two Lyric Pieces for small Orchestra Op.68 01:50:29
24 - The Mountain Thrall Op.32 01:57:18
Grieg - 31 Lyric Pieces - Gieseking
Lyric Pieces

Book I op.12
n°2 Waltz 0:00
n°7 Album-leaf 1:48

Book II op.38
n°1 Cradle Song 3:04
n°3 Melody 5:40

Book III op.43
n°1 Butterfly 7:27
n°2 Lonely wanderer 9:11
n°3 In my native land 11:12
n°4 Little bird 13:33
n°5 Erotic 15:18
n°6 To the Spring 18:10

Book IV op.47
n°2 Album-leaf 20:46
n°3 Melody 23:50
n°4 Norwegian Dance 27:28

Book V op.54
n°1 Shepherd Boy 28:51
n°3 March of the dwarfs 33:16
n°4 Notturno 36:30
n°6 Bellringing 40:19

Book VI op.57
n°6 Homesickness 43:35

Book VII op.62
n°3 French serenade 47:16
n°5 Phantom 49:04
n°6 Homeward 52:07

Book VIII op.65
n°1 From days of youth 54:40
n°2 Peasant's song 59:40
n°6 Wedding day at Troldhaugen 1:01:34

Book IX op.68
n°2 Grandmother's minuet 1:07:49
n°3 At your feet 1:09:55
n°5 At the cradle 1:12:37

Book X op.71
n°2 Summer evening 1:15:31
n°3 Puck 1:17:47
n°4 Peace of the woods 1:19:26
n°7 Remembrances 1:24:14

Walter Gieseking
Studio recording, London, 21-23.IX.1956

Eva Knardahl plays Grieg Lyric Pieces (complete set)
00:00 - Op.12
12:38 - Op.38
29:38 - Op.43
44:15 - Op.47
01:05:19 - Op.54
01:30:50 - Op.57
01:57:02 - Op.62
02:12:13 - Op.65
02:35:32 - Op.68
02:51:33 - Op.71
Grieg: Norwegische Tänze ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Paavo Järvi
Orchesterbearbeitung von Hans Sitt ∙

I. Allegro marcato ∙
II. Allegretto tranquillo e grazioso ∙
III. Allegro moderato alla Marcia - Tranquillo ∙
IV. Allegro molto - Presto e con brio - Prestissimo ∙

hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) ∙
Paavo Järvi, Dirigent ∙

Alte Oper Frankfurt, 19. April 2013 ∙

Grieg - Holberg Suite, Op. 40 (''From Holberg's Time")
Berliner Philharmoniker / Herbert von Karajan

00:00 1. Praeludium
03:02 2. Sarabande
07:18 3. Gavotte
11:07 4. Air
16:58 5. Rigaudon

Grieg - Peace of the woods
H. Austbø, pianist
Edvard Grieg - Symphonic Dances / Danses Symphoniques
Symphonic Dances on Norwegian motifs, Op. 64
- Danses symphoniques sur des motifs norvégiens, op. 64

I. Allegro moderato e marcato
II. Allegro grazioso
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Andante - Allegro molto e risoluto

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Järvi

Edvard Grieg - Symphony in C-minor, EG 119 (1864)
Symphony in C-minor, EG 119 (1864) (Grieg's only completed symphony)

Mov.I: Allegro molto 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio espressivo 12:44
Mov.III: Intermezzo: Allegro energico 20:04
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro molto vivace 25:10

Orchestra: Malmö Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Bjarte Engeset

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