Edvard Hagerup Grieg (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈɛdvɑɖ ˈhɑːɡərʉp ˈɡrɪɡː]; 15 June 1843 – 4 September 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 Bedřich Smetana did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively.
Grieg 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.
Grieg in 1888, with signature, portrait published in The Leisure Hour (1889)
Edvard Hagerup Grieg
15 June 1843
|Died||4 September 1907 (aged 64)|
|Occupation||Classical composer and pianist|
|Spouse(s)||Nina Grieg (née Hagerup)|
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway. His parents were Alexander Grieg (1806–1875), a merchant and vice-consul in Bergen; and Gesine Judithe Hagerup (1814–1875), a music teacher and daughter of solicitor and politician Edvard Hagerup. The family name, originally spelled Greig, is associated with the Scottish Clann Ghriogair (Clan Gregor). After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Grieg's great-grandfather, Alexander Greig, travelled widely, settling in Norway about 1770, and establishing business interests in Bergen.
Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical family. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play at the age of six. Grieg studied in several schools, including Tanks Upper Secondary School.
In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a family friend; Bull's brother was married to Grieg's aunt. Bull recognized the 15-year-old boy's talent and persuaded his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory, the piano department of which was directed by Ignaz Moscheles.
Grieg enrolled in the conservatory, concentrating on the piano, and enjoyed the many concerts and recitals given in Leipzig. He disliked the discipline of the conservatory course of study. An exception was the organ, which was mandatory for piano students. In the spring of 1860, he survived two life-threatening lung diseases, pleurisy and tuberculosis. Throughout his life, Grieg's health was impaired by a destroyed left lung and considerable deformity of his thoracic spine. He suffered from numerous respiratory infections, and ultimately developed combined lung and heart failure. Grieg was admitted many times to spas and sanatoria both in Norway and abroad. Several of his doctors became his personal friends.
In 1861, Grieg made his debut as a concert pianist in Karlshamn, Sweden. In 1862, he finished his studies in Leipzig and held his first concert in his home town, where his programme included Beethoven's Pathétique sonata.
In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and stayed there for three years. He met the Danish composers J. P. E. Hartmann and Niels Gade. He also met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (composer of the Norwegian national anthem), who became a good friend and source of inspiration. Nordraak died in 1866, and Grieg composed a funeral march in his honor.
On 11 June 1867, Grieg married his first cousin, Nina Hagerup (1845–1935), a lyric soprano. The next year, their only child, Alexandra, was born. Alexandra died in 1869 from meningitis. In the summer of 1868, Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor while on holiday in Denmark. Edmund Neupert gave the concerto its premiere performance on 3 April 1869 in the Casino Theatre in Copenhagen. Grieg himself was unable to be there due to conducting commitments in Christiania (now Oslo).
In 1868, Franz Liszt, who had not yet met Grieg, wrote a testimonial for him to the Norwegian Ministry of Education, which led to Grieg's obtaining a travel grant. The two men met in Rome in 1870. On Grieg's first visit, they went over Grieg's Violin Sonata No. 1, which pleased Liszt greatly. On his second visit in April, Grieg brought with him the manuscript of his Piano Concerto, which Liszt proceeded to sightread (including the orchestral arrangement). Liszt's rendition greatly impressed his audience, although Grieg gently pointed out to him that he played the first movement too quickly. Liszt also gave Grieg some advice on orchestration (for example, to give the melody of the second theme in the first movement to a solo trumpet).
Grieg had close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonien), and later became Music Director of the orchestra from 1880 to 1882. In 1888, Grieg met Tchaikovsky in Leipzig. Grieg was struck by the greatness of Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky thought very highly of Grieg's music, praising its beauty, originality and warmth.
The Norwegian government provided Grieg with a pension as he reached retirement age. In the spring of 1903, Grieg made nine 78-rpm gramophone recordings of his piano music in Paris; all of these historic discs have been reissued on both LPs and CDs, despite limited fidelity. Grieg also made live-recording player piano music rolls for the Hupfeld Phonola piano-player system and Welte-Mignon reproducing system, all of which survive today and can be heard. He also worked with the Aeolian Company for its 'Autograph Metrostyle' piano roll series wherein he indicated the tempo mapping for many of his pieces.
In 1899, Grieg cancelled his concerts in France in protest of the Dreyfus Affair, an anti-semitic scandal that was then roiling French politics. Regarding this scandal, Grieg had written that he hoped that the French might, "Soon return to the spirit of 1789, when the French republic declared that it would defend basic human rights." As a result of his position on the affair, he became the target of much French hate mail of that day.
In 1906, he met the composer and pianist Percy Grainger in London. Grainger was a great admirer of Grieg's music and a strong empathy was quickly established. In a 1907 interview, Grieg stated: “I have written Norwegian Peasant Dances that no one in my country can play, and here comes this Australian who plays them as they ought to be played! He is a genius that we Scandinavians cannot do other than love.”
Edvard Grieg died at the Municipal Hospital in Bergen, Norway in the late summer of 1907 at age 64 from heart failure. He had suffered a long period of illness. His last words were "Well, if it must be so."
The funeral drew between 30,000 and 40,000 people out on the streets of his home town to honor him. Following his wish, his own Funeral March in Memory of Rikard Nordraak was played in an orchestration by his friend Johan Halvorsen, who had married Grieg's niece. In addition, the Funeral March movement from Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 was played. Grieg was cremated, and his ashes were entombed in a mountain crypt near his house, Troldhaugen. After the death of his wife, her ashes were later placed alongside his.
Grieg also composed the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, which includes the famous excerpt entitled, "In the Hall of the Mountain King". In this piece of music, the adventures of the anti-hero, Peer Gynt, are related, including the episode in which he steals a bride at her wedding. The angry guests chase him, and Peer falls, hitting his head on a rock. He wakes up in a mountain surrounded by trolls. The music of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" represents the angry trolls taunting Peer and gets louder each time the theme repeats. The music ends with Peer escaping from the mountain.
In an 1874 letter to his friend Frants Beyer, Grieg expressed his unhappiness with Dance of the Mountain King's Daughter, one of the movements he composed for Peer Gynt, writing "I have also written something for the scene in the hall of the mountain King – something that I literally can't bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-pies, exaggerated Norwegian nationalism, and trollish self-satisfaction! But I have a hunch that the irony will be discernible."
Grieg's Holberg Suite was originally written for the piano, and later arranged by the composer for string orchestra. Grieg wrote songs in which he set lyrics by poets Heinrich Heine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henrik Ibsen, Hans Christian Andersen, Rudyard Kipling and others. Russian composer Nikolai Myaskovsky used a theme by Grieg for the variations with which he closed his Third String Quartet. Norwegian pianist Eva Knardahl recorded the composer's complete piano music on 13 LPs for BIS Records in 1977-1980. The recordings were reissued in 2006 on 12 compact discs, also on BIS Records. Grieg himself recorded many of these piano works before his death in 1907.
Edvard Grieg composed the Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 36 for cello and piano, and his only work for this combination, in 1882–83, marking a return to composition following a period when he had been preoccupied with his conducting duties at the Bergen Symphony Orchestra as well as illness.
The work borrows themes from Grieg's own Trauermarsch zum Andenken an Richard Nordraak (Funeral March in memory of Richard Nordraak) and the wedding march from his Drei Orchesterstücke aus Sigurd Jorsalfar (Three orchestral pieces from 'Sigurd Jorsalfar'). Grieg dedicated the piece to his brother, John, a keen amateur cellist.Friedrich Ludwig Grützmacher premièred the work with Grieg at the piano on 22 October 1883 in Dresden.Edvard Grieg oil field
The Edvard Grieg oil field, until 2012 Luno oil field, is an oil field on the Utsira High. It was discovered in 2007. It is expected to hold around 150 million barrels of oil.The field is operated by Lundin who has 50% share of ownership, while the rest is shared between OMV (20%), Statoil (15%) and Wintershall (15%).
Production is planned to start in 2015.Edvard Grieg – mennesket og kunstneren
Edvard Grieg – mennesket og kunstneren (Edvard Grieg. The Man and the Artist) is a biography of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, written by Finn Benestad and Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1980.
The book treats the life and works of Edvard Grieg, and includes a comprehensive list of Grieg's works with incipits.Grieg (crater)
Grieg is a crater on Mercury. It has a diameter of 59 kilometers. Its name was adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1985. Grieg is named after the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, who lived from 1843 to 1907.Grieg Hall
Grieg Hall (Norwegian: Grieghallen) is a 1,500 seat concert hall located on Edvard Griegs' square in Bergen, Norway.Grieghallen was named in honor of Bergen-born composer Edvard Grieg, who served as music director of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 1880 until 1882. It serves as the home of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. The building was designed in modernist architecture style by the Danish architect Knud Munk. Construction was started in 1967, with completion during May 1978.Griegprisen
Griegprisen (established 1972 in Bergen, Norway) is awarded by the «Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen» to a Norwegian musician, conductor or musicologist who in a special way have communicated the music of Edvard Grieg. It has also been awarded an extraordinary five times to people who have made a special effort to Edvard Grieg and Troldhaugen. The prize is awarded every year on the birthday of Edvard Grieg, 15 June.Haugtussa (Grieg)
Haugtussa, Op. 67, or The Mountain Maid, is a song cycle for soprano and piano composed by Edvard Grieg in 1895 and published in 1898. It is the only song cycle in his entire output. The text was written by the Norwegian writer Arne Garborg, an excerpt from his book of poetry Haugtussa. It tells the story of Haugtussa, a young herding girl, and her first love affair with a boy, her first heartache. Both the lyrics, which brim over with imagery of gurgling brooks and tasty blueberries, and the music that mimics this imagery, intertwine the main character’s personal story and the mystic spring-like landscape that surrounds her, which may even motivate it.Holberg Suite
The Holberg Suite, Op. 40, more properly "From Holberg's Time" (Norwegian: Fra Holbergs tid, German: Aus Holbergs Zeit), subtitled "Suite in olden style" (Norwegian: Suite i gammel stil, German: Suite im alten 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 Dano-Norwegian humanist playwright Ludvig Holberg.
It exemplifies nineteenth century music which makes use of musical styles and forms from the preceding century.
The movements of the suite are:
Praeludium (Allegro vivace)
Air (Andante religioso)
Rigaudon (Allegro con brio)The Holberg Suite was originally composed for the piano, but a year later was adapted by Grieg himself for string orchestra. The suite consists of an introduction and a set of dances. It is an early essay in neoclassicism, an attempt to echo as much as was known in Grieg's time of the music of Holberg's era.Although it is not as famous as Grieg's incidental music from Peer Gynt, which is itself usually performed as arranged in a pair of suites, many critics regard the works as of equal merit.In Autumn
In Autumn, Op. 11, is a concert overture written by Edvard Grieg in 1865.In the Hall of the Mountain King
"In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Norwegian: I Dovregubbens hall) is a piece of orchestral music composed by Edvard Grieg in 1875 as incidental music for the sixth scene of act 2 in Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play Peer Gynt. It was originally part of Opus 23 but was later extracted as the final piece of Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46. Its easily recognizable theme has helped it attain iconic status in popular culture, where it has been arranged by many artists (See Grieg's music in popular culture).
The English translation of the name is not literal. Dovre is a mountainous region in Norway, and "gubbe" translates into (old) man or husband. "Gubbe" is used along with its female counterpart "kjerring" to differentiate male and female trolls, "trollgubbe" and "trollkjerring". In the play, Dovregubben is a troll king that Peer Gynt invents in a fantasy.Lyric Pieces
Lyric Pieces (Norwegian: Lyriske stykker) is a collection of 66 short pieces for solo piano written by Edvard Grieg. They were published in 10 volumes, from 1867 (Op. 12) to 1901 (Op. 71). The collection includes several of his best known pieces, such as Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen), To Spring (Til våren), March of the Trolls (Trolltog), and Butterfly (Sommerfugl).
The theme of the first piece in the set, Arietta, was one of the composer's favorite melodies. He used it to complete the cycle in his very last lyric piece, Remembrances (Efterklang) — this time as a waltz.
In 2002, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes recorded a CD with 24 of the lyric pieces on Grieg's own 1892 Steinway grand piano at Troldhaugen, the composer's residence. Among other notable pianists to make recordings of the collection are Isabel Mourão – the Brazilian pianist was also the first to record the complete Lyric Pieces – Walter Gieseking, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Eva Knardahl, Andrei Gavrilov, Håkon Austbø, Einar Steen-Nøkleberg, Irina Mejoueva, Gerhard Oppitz, Stephen Hough, and Javier Perianes. A few recordings and piano rolls of Grieg himself performing also exist, and they have been published by the Norwegian record label Simax.
Four of the six pieces from Book V, Op. 54, were orchestrated under the title of Lyric Suite. Both Grieg and Anton Seidl had a hand in the orchestrations. Grieg also orchestrated two of the pieces from Book IX, Op. 68.Morning Mood
"Morning Mood" (Norwegian title: Morgenstemning i ørkenen – Morning mood in the desert) is part of Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt, Op. 23, written in 1875 as incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play of the same name, and was also included as the first of four movements in Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46.Peer Gynt (Grieg)
Peer Gynt, Op. 23, is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play of the same name, written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo).
Later, in 1888 and 1891, Grieg extracted eight movements to make two four-movement suites: Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and Suite No. 2, Op. 55. Some of these movements have received coverage in popular culture; see Grieg's music in popular culture.Piano Concerto (Grieg)
The Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, composed by Edvard Grieg in 1868, was the only concerto Grieg completed. It is one of his most popular works and is among the most popular of all piano concerti.Piano Sonata (Grieg)
Edvard Grieg's Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 7 was written in 1865 when he was 22 years old. The sonata was published a year later and revised in 1887. The work was Grieg's only piano sonata and it was dedicated to the Danish composer Niels Gade. The sonata has four movements with the following tempo markings:
Alla Menuetto, ma poco più lento
Finale: Molto allegroA typical performance lasts around 20 minutes.
In the first movement Grieg used a technique probably most famously used by Bach and Shostakovich: his own name, more precisely his initials E-H-G (H being the German name for note B), begins the melody in the first two bars, which is reiterated in octaves and even echoed by the left hand in bars 13 and 14. He used the same method in his two compositions of the Lyric Pieces: "Gade", Op. 57, No. 2 and "Secret", Op. 57, No. 4, using the name of his admired colleague Gade.
In a 1944 letter to Ella Grainger, Percy Grainger mentioned planning to orchestrate the sonata. He apparently did so, but only a sketch is extant. However, an orchestration of the Menuetto by Danish composer Robert Henriques exists.Symphonic Dances (Grieg)
The four Symphonic Dances Op. 64 by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg were written c. 1896 and published in 1897.
They draw their inspiration from the earlier folk works collected by Ludvig Mathias Lindeman.
Dance No. 1, G major, Allegro moderato e marcato
Dance No. 2, A major, Allegretto grazioso
Dance No. 3, D major, Allegro giocoso
Dance No. 4, A minor, Andante - Allegro risolutoTroldhaugen
Troldhaugen is the former home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and his wife Nina Grieg. Troldhaugen is located in Bergen, Norway and consists of the Edvard Grieg Museum, Grieg’s villa, the hut where he composed music, and his and his wife's gravesite.Two Elegiac Melodies
Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34, is a composition in two movements for string orchestra by Edvard Grieg, completed in 1880 and first published in 1881.Violin Sonatas (Grieg)
Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg wrote three violin sonatas. They are all examples of his musical nationalism, since they all contain references or similarities to Norwegian folk song.
The three Sonatas for violin and piano by Edvard Grieg were written between 1865 and 1887.
Violin Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op. 8 was written in Copenhagen in 1865.
Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major, Op. 13 was written in Oslo (then Christiania) in 1867.
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45 was completed while Grieg was living in Troldhaugen in 1887.
|Named for Grieg|
List of compositions by Edvard Grieg Category:Compositions by Edvard Grieg