Grieg in 1888, with signature, portrait published in The Leisure Hour (1889)
|Born||15 June 1843|
|Died||4 September 1907 64) (aged|
|List of compositions|
|Spouse(s)||Nina Grieg (née Hagerup)|
Edvard Hagerup Grieg ( // GREEG, Norwegian: [ˈɛ̀dvɑɖ ˈhɑ̀ːɡərʉp 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 did in Finland and Bedřich Smetana did in 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.
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. About his study in the conservatory, he wrote to his biographer, Aimar Grønvold, in 1881: "I must admit, unlike Svendsen, that I left Leipzig Conservatory just as stupid as I entered it. Naturally, I did learn something there, but my individuality was still a closed book to me.
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).
In 1874–76, Grieg composed incidental music for the premiere of Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , at the request of the author.
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.
On 6 December 1897, Grieg and his wife performed some of his music at a private concert at Windsor Castle for Queen Victoria and her court.
Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906.
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, on 4 September 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.
Edvard Grieg and his wife considered themselves Unitarians and Nina went to the Unitarian church in Copenhagen after his death.
Some of Grieg's early works include a symphony (which he later suppressed) and a piano sonata. He also wrote three violin sonatas and a cello sonata.
Grieg also composed the incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , which includes the famous excerpt titled, "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 from 1977 to 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.
This article is about music-related events in 1876.
Johan Halvorsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist.
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.
Leif Ove Andsnes is a Norwegian pianist and chamber musician. Andsnes has made several recordings for Virgin and EMI. For his current "Beethoven Journey" project, Andsnes performed and recorded all five of the composer’s piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; they have been released on Sony Classical. He is represented by IMG.
Johan Severin Svendsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. Born in Christiania, Norway, he lived most his life in Copenhagen, Denmark. Svendsen's output includes two symphonies, a violin concerto, a cello concerto, and the Romance for violin, as well as a number of Norwegian Rhapsodies for orchestra. At one time Svendsen was an intimate friend of the German composer Richard Wagner.
Song of Norway is an operetta written in 1944 by Robert Wright and George Forrest, adapted from the music of Edvard Grieg and the book by Milton Lazarus and Homer Curran. A very loose film adaptation with major changes to both the book and music was released in 1970.
Arthur De Greef was a Belgian pianist and composer.
Nina Grieg, née Hagerup was a Danish–Norwegian lyric soprano.
Salomon Jadassohn was a German pianist, composer and a renowned teacher of piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory.
The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is a Norwegian orchestra based in Bergen. Its principal concert venue is the Grieg Hall.
Arve Tellefsen is a Norwegian violinist, who collaborated with conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Arvid Jansons, Herbert Blomstedt, Gary Bertini, Evgeny Svetlanov, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Walter Weller and Zubin Mehta. In the UK, he has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, The Hallé, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Welsh Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
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.
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.
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.
Alice Sara Ott is a German born Japanese classical pianist and the elder sister of Mona Asuka Ott.
Finn Benestad was a Norwegian musicologist and music critic. He was a professor at the University of Oslo from 1965 to 1998, and is probably best known for his long-term research on composer Edvard Grieg.
Dag Schjelderup-Ebbe was a Norwegian musicologist, composer, music critic and biographer. He was a lecturer at the University of Oslo for thirty years, from 1973 with the title of professor. His research mainly centered on the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
Frants Diecke Cappelen Beyer was a Norwegian average adjuster, tax inspector and composer. He is particularly known for his long-term close friendship with composer Edvard Grieg. A large portion of the letter correspondence between Grieg and Beyer has been preserved and later published. Among his musical contributions are records of eighteen folk songs which formed the basis for Grieg's opus 66. He was chairman of the board of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra for many years.
Griegprisen 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.
Sverre Jordan was a Norwegian composer, orchestra conductor, and pianist.
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