Grieg: Piano Works Vol.1

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For a collection of small nations at the northern fringe of Europe, Scandinavia produced in a relatively short space of time a remarkable quantity of great musicians – including from the late classical and early periods Berwald, Pacius and Crusell, to Gade, Svendsen ,Sinding and Grieg in the mid 19th, and of course Sibelius, Nielsen, Laangaard and Stenhammer at the end of the 19th who became major international composers in the first three decades of the 20th century.

Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) of course will always be remembered as the composer of the highly effective A minor piano concerto, and his incidental music to Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. However, it is as a miniaturist that Greig’s true genius lies. Grieg was a very capable pianist, and had in fact made his early career as a concert pianist, and his songs and solo piano music form the heart of his output. The early piano sonata although interesting shows clearly why the less restricting forms of the miniatures for solo piano suited his genius. The Lyric Pieces and Peasant Dances display his keen ear for traditional folk music, matched probably only by Bartok and Kodaly.

The 66 works that comprise the 10 books of Lyric Pieces date from 1867 to 1901, and are extraordinary, exquisitely crafted works that can stand comparison to any of the great sonatas of his contemporaries. This set includes the complete Lyric Pieces, the Sonata, The Holberg Suite and the lesser-known piano works of this great composer who captured the very essence of his native Norway in music.

Composer: Edvard Hagerup Grieg
Artist : Håkon Austbö piano

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