Grieg, Edvard (1843 - 1907)
MAGATAGAN, MICHAEL (1960 - )
|Copyright :||Public Domain|
|Added by magataganm, 02 Jan 2019|
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843 – 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Bedrich Smetana did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively. He is the most celebrated person from the city of Bergen, with numerous statues depicting his image, and many cultural entities named after him: the city's largest concert building (Grieg Hall), its most advanced music school (Grieg Academy) and its professional choir (Edvard Grieg Kor). The Edvard Grieg Museum at Grieg's former home, Troldhaugen, is dedicated to his legacy.
It is the influence of folkloristic idioms which can be said to pervade many of Grieg's works for solo piano, including the piano sonata in E minor, Op. 7, of 1865, the Pictures from Country Life, Op. 19, and of course, the ten books devoted to Lyric Pieces, some 66 miniatures in all, which were published in the years 1867 - 1901. It was, wrote Grieg, the celebrated Norwegian violin virtuoso Ole Borneman Bull who "opened my eyes to the beauty and unspoilt nature of Norwegian music," although in these works, it would be hard to overlook the demonstrable impact that was exerted upon Grieg's creative processes by the seminal German Romantic miniaturists Mendelssohn and Schumann, while Chopin's expressive instincts are also closely mirrored.
Writing to his publisher, the head of Peters Edition Henri Hinrichsen, in 1901, the composer remarked that his Lyric Pieces were "an intimate slice of life," and indeed, it would be very hard to challenge such an assertion. Book 5, published as Grieg's Op. 54, comprises of the following numbers: 1) Shepherd Boy, 2) Norwegian March, 3) March of the Trolls, 4) Nocturne, 5) Scherzo, 6) Bell-Ringing.
Of particular interest is the third of the set "March of the Trolls." As Joachim Dorfmüller has written, "Trolls are quintessentially Norwegian creatures, and it was in their honour that Grieg and his wife Nina named the plot of land on which they built their house on the outskirts of Bergen in 1884 - 1885; 'Troldhaugen' or 'Troll Hill'." Op. 54 No. 5 is a scurrying, mercurial Scherzo reminiscent of Mendelssohn's in A Midsummer Night's Dream or the Octet for strings. Op. 54 No. 6, "Bell-Ringing," was written during 1891. As Dorfmüller points out, this was a full 16 years before Debussy composed his highly impressionistic tintinabulatory piece "Cloches à travers les feuilles," from his second book of Images. Grieg's previous example is also highly colored and often distinctly avant-gardist in feel. As Dorfmüller concludes, in his Lyric Pieces, and indeed in much of his remaining piano music, "Grieg thrust aside tradition -- no doubt, in the final analysis, to his own astonishment as much as to that of his contemporaries -- and in his last great creative period he set out on a virtually impressionistic path."
This the "Troldtog" (March of the Dwarfs) is usually translated as it appears to the left, but those familiar with Norwegian mythology often insist that trolls are something quite different from dwarfs. These puckish creatures are supposed to have a more corpulent torso and can be physically formidable. Still, they are small and full of mischief and fun, and that is how Grieg depicts their character in this charming and thoroughly delightful piece. The main theme here is among the composer's best known, one of those melodies probably recognizable to the man and woman on the street. It is a lively creation whose brisk, descending manner and playful character convey both a comical busyness and a sense of fantasy. Grieg supplies only a basic lively rhythm to underpin the melody, fully aware the quick-step march is one of those rare tunes that captures the essence of the work's title. In contrast, the middle section theme is lyrical and innocent, dreamy and sweet, as if the composer were depicting his little creatures as they slept. The main theme returns to close out this colorful little masterpiece. Performance of this work typically lasts three-and-a-half minutes.
Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/lyric-pieces-6-fo r-piano-book-5-op-54-mc0002361281 ).
Although originally composed for Piano, I created this Interpretation of the "Bell Ringing" from Lyric Pieces (Book 5 Op. 54 No. 6) for English Handbells.
|Sheet central :||Pièces lyriques pour piano - Cahier V (16 sheet music)|