Monday, October 30, 2006

Grieg Lyric Pieces

I have spent the last few days listening to a recording of Aldo Ciccolini playing all the Grieg Lyric Pieces (the recording is on a Swiss label: Cascavelle VEL 3083), and I am totally enchanted. Most people know the famous ones like Grandmother's Minuet, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, and Puck, but taking the time to listen to all ten volumes of these Lyric Pieces makes me realize once again what a phenomenal composer Edvard Grieg was, especially as a composer of music for the piano.

It is funny. I often hear the influence of previous composers when I listen to 19th century music. In Schumann, for example, I often hear the influence of Schubert and Mendelssohn, in Mendelssohn I often hear the influence of Mozart and Beethoven, but when I listen to Grieg, I don't hear anyone specific from his musical past. I hear what future composers might have heard in his music. I hear what might have influenced Debussy to a certain extent, and what might have influenced Gershwin to a great extent.

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