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Edvard Grieg: Concerto in A-minor

Production year: 2007 | 1*44 | Genres: Music
Grieg Galla
Origin country: Norway
Production company: NRK Norsk Rikskringkasting AS
Original title: Grieg Galla
Original language: Norwegian
Formats: HD

In September 2007 Leif Ove Andsnes was soloist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra at the Grieg Hall, Bergen, where he performed Edvard Grieg's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A-Minor, opus 16, and three additional pieces, 'Humoresque', op. 6 no. 2, 'Evening on the Mountains', op. 68 no. 4 and 'March of the Trolls', op. 54 no. 3.

When his Piano Concerto was first performed - in Copenhagen, in 1869 - Grieg, then twenty-five years old, was in Christiania (now Oslo) and was thus unable to share in the triumphal reception accorded to this early work, his first step on the road to international acclaim. He had composed the concerto the previous summer, while his wife Nina and their daughter were staying with his parents-in-law in the Danish capital. To allow him to work undisturbed, a small gardener's cottage and a piano had been placed at his disposal on the outskirts of the city. In a letter to a Danish friend in November that same year, Grieg wrote that he had composed a concerto for piano and orchestra 'which I believe contains some things of worth'.

Before the holiday was over, Grieg had finished the piano part and roughed out a few sections of the score; he completed the work on his return to Christiania. He undoubtedly modelled the concerto on that composed by Robert Schumann in the 1840s, which had made an indelible impression on him when he heard it performed in Leipzig in 1858. This notwithstanding, Grieg's concerto is an original and independent composition. One biographer wrote that it possessed a most richly faceted charm, fascinating melodics, a varied rhythm, finely honed harmonics, some brilliant instrumentation and a solo part that combines elegant virtuosity with enchanting lyricism.

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