2. Grieg

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is, undoubtedly, Norway’s most famous composer. He was born in Bergen, but it’s interesting to note that his great-grandfather was a Scot who had settled in Norway after the battle of Culloden.

His most famous music – with the exception of the piano concerto – mainly consists of short pieces with descriptive titles, either known singly (as with some songs and piano pieces) or as part of larger collections (Peer Gynt incidental music; the Holberg Suite). But, trained as he was in the German tradition (Leipzig), he also produced, in addition to the ubiquitous piano concerto, amongst other similar works, three violin sonatas, a cello sonata and a string quartet.

You can listen to Norwegian sourced examples of both below: some of the well-known incidental music for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (played by the Bergen Philharmonic), and his Cello Sonata in a, Op. 36 – a fine example of the Romantic sonata (Truls Mørk, cello; Håvard Gimse, piano).

Cello Sonata in a

Allegro agitato 00:07
Andante molto tranquillo 09:48
Allegro molto e marcato 16:16

Grieg/Ibsen: Peer Gynt
Incidental music

00:05 Act 1, Prelude. At the Wedding
04:55 Act 4, Prelude. Morning Mood
09:14 Act 3, Prelude. The Death of Aase
14:07 Act 4 Scene 10, Solveig’s Song
19:43 Act 4 Scene 6, Anitra’s Dance
23:07 Act 5 Scene 10, Solveig’s Cradle Song
27:20 Act 2 Scene 6, In the Hall of the Mountain King

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