Chopin of the North

Edvard Grieg is pretty much the national composer of Norway the same way Sibelius is of Finland, quite an accomplishment for a Scotsman.

Actually, for a composer, he led a pretty normal life.  Well traveled and mostly liked by his mid century contemporaries, he was a particularly gifted pianist.  He wrote 5 songs dedicated to Louis Hornbeck which ingratiates him to me (not that there is any relation, like Athena I sprang fully formed from the head of Zeus).

Tonight’s pieces are two Piano Rolls where he demonstrates his virtuosity playing his own compositions.

The first one is Bridal Procession which can come in handy if you are on your Larry Kingth marriage and are tired of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.  The second is called Butterfly, Op. 43 #1, both posted by d60944.

What I notice about Piano Rolls in general is that the performances are quite up tempo compared to what I expected.  This is reflective of the desires and talent of the composers, speed is one of the things they are best at preserving.

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  1. Short, yes, but I stayed up past my bedtime watching primary results.

    • Robyn on May 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm

  2. “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”  The song itself sparked the imagination, causing me to wonder at length what the Mountain King might be like, and at the same time, not being entirely certain that I’d want to know.

    By the way, Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) were contemporaries of a sort.  Anyone else see a slight resemblance between the two, or is it just me?

  3. another childhood favorite, “Ase’s Death.”

    This beautiful piece is obviously different, but in a few respects reminds me of Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”

    I’m surprised that “Ase’s Death” isn’t used more frequently for funeral marches.  

    Here’s “Ase’s Death”

    …and Barber’s haunting “Adagio for Strings”, which may bring back memories for those of you who saw Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, “Platoon.”

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