Thursday, February 28, 2008

Greig's sonata and lyric pieces

Edvard Grieg is renowned as a nationalist composer, drawing inspiration from Norwegian folk music. His music can be accepted for both professional and amateur musicians. So his music can be performed not only on the stage but also in the film as a background music or play for football game intermission. (I heard once in the football game, the band played Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King,’ the player may not know who the composer is, but the melody is quite popular for everyone.)
Grieg has one piano sonata Op.7 in E minor which was written in 1865 when he was only 22 years old. The piece has four movements in sonata form. (Generally, Greig’s music has not very difficult technique; it is quite good for learning purpose and most for intermediate students.) I like more about Grieg’s lyric pieces. He has a collection of 66 small to medium size pieces. These short pieces for piano built on Norwegian folk tunes and dances. Each piece has a subtitle to describe the meaning of music. I am trying to give subtitles to 25 variations of Brahms-Handel Variations because I want each variation has their own characters for better understanding (performer) and listening (listeners). Grieg’s lyric pieces give me some ideas for my 25 variations subtitle. Some of the lyric pieces are really like Chopin’s music, such as Op.12, No.5 (like Chopin’s prelude), No.7 (like Mazurka). Many famous pianists recorded the collection of Grieg’s lyric piece, so it looks like the music is quite attractive for performing.

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