Edvard Grieg, solo piano music

 

 

The Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), himself a pianist, wrote hundreds of piano works, ranging from his well known Piano Concerto in A minor to a plethora of works for solo piano.

The works for solo piano are essentially tone poems, and Grieg is a master at painting scenes from daily life and depicting universal emotions that one can feel — it’s as if something auditory can be visualized or experienced with other senses (e.g., tactile).

I have posted here 14 of my personal favorites, focusing on pieces that exemplify Grieg’s genius for capturing a mood or depicting a scene. It seems to me that he comes close to being unrivaled in this respect. He does the same thing, by the way, in his lieder.

 

— Roger W. Smith

     January 2017

 

 

 

 

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Ensom vandrer (Solitary wanderer)

from Lyric Pieces, Book III, Op. 43

 

 

I hjemmet (In my homeland)

from Lyric Pieces, Book III, Op. 43

 

 

Erotikk (Erotikon)

from Lyric Pieces, Book III, Op. 43

 

 

Til våren (To spring)

from Lyric Pieces, Book III, Op. 43

 

 

Solveigs sang (Solveig’s Song)

from Piano Pieces after Original Songs, Op. 52

 

 

Heimweh (Homesickness)

from Lyric Pieces, Book VI, Op. 57

 

 

Takk (Gratitude)

from Lyric Pieces, Book VII, Op. 62

 

 

Hjemad (Homeward)

from Lyric Pieces, Book VII, Op. 62

 

 

Tungsinn (Melancholy)

from Lyric Pieces, Book VIII, Op. 65

 

 

Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen)

from Lyric Pieces, Book VIII, Op. 65

 

 

For dine føtter (At your feet)

from Lyric Pieces, Book IX, Op. 68

 

 

Bådnlåt (At the cradle)

from Lyric Pieces, Book IX, Op. 68

 

 

Sommeraften (Summer’s eve)

from Lyric Pieces, Book X, Op. 71

 

 

Efterklang (Remembrances)

from Lyric Pieces, Book X, Op. 71

 

 

 

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Addendum:

The Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has recorded Grieg’s piano works, including his Lyric Pieces. Many of them are on YouTube.

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. He hosts separate websites devoted to the authors Theodore Dreiser and Pitirim A. Sorokin and to classical music as well as family history/genealogy.
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