Springtanz Spring Dance , lyric piece for piano, Op.
Lyric Pieces, Op (Grieg, Edvard) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download
Fra Valders St. Thomas' Yodel from Valdres , Norwegian melody for piano No. Stimmungen Moods 7 for piano, Op. Passing over the Album Leafy we reach the National Song, which sounds as though written for four-part men's chorus, and has a good deal of the broad general char- after demanded for a national anthem. Henry T. Finck, in his entertaining biography of Grieg, quotes an account, written by the composer, of a Christmas festival at the house of his friend Bjornsterne Bjornson, in Christiania, in Bjornson at once announced that he would write a poem to it, and the next day he reported that it was to be a song for all young Norwegians.
But it will come. Then there was a clattering as if a wild horde were breaking in, and a voice shouting, ' Forward! I have it! My wife, in the adjoining room, was almost frightened out of her wits. But when, a moment later, the door was opened, and Bjornson stood there, joyous and beaming like a sun, there was great glee. And then we listened to the beautiful poem just completed. Very individual are the A minor measures near the end of the second page, with their dotted eighth and sixteenth notes in writhing rhythm. Second to few of Grieg's short pianoforte pieces is the Improvisation upon a Norwegian Folk Songy included in this coUedtion as number one of Op.
The song itself is of singular beauty, and is burdened with a truly northern melan- choly, although, for the purposes of his art form, Grieg lets a shaft of sunlight illumine its final measure. With the first page of this music be- fore us, we can trace the original outline of this sorrowftil song of Scandinavia, set in the key of A minor. The introductory measures suggest the preliminary flourish of a peasant's fiddle, and then begins the mournftil lay of the singer. The first phrase is set forth with the left hand, in measures six, seven, eight, nine, with the utmost simplicity, but with genuine eloquence.
This is immediately repeated, with growing insistence, by both hands in unison measures ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. The second period of the melody falls within measures fourteen and fifteen, again in the left hand, while the completing phrase of the song occupies measures nineteen and twenty, which round out the page. The harmonization is consistent with the straightforward character of this appealing national utterance.
There follows a staccato variation and then one in - - time, both in the sombre key of A minor, after which the original -g- melody is again proclaimed, this time in enriched harmony and in oftaves. It mounts to a dramatic climax and then dies away, in an arpeggiated A major chord. Nothing more sincere or more saturated with the northern spirit could be asked. The second book of Lyric Pieces opens with the tender BerceusCy which retains its charm in spite of being hackneyed.
It is a good example of Grieg's harmonic strudhire, and of his skill in delaying a climax until the psychic moment ;note the increasing tension of the last line on the sec- ond page of this little score, and the upper line of its third page. Here he has worked to a real culmination, without overstep- ping the charafter of the piece.
Another Folk Song follows, in the favorite key of E minor, with a sunny middle episode in G major. Passing over the next piece, which lacks dis- dndtion, we come to the first of several settings written for the Hailing, one of the Norwegian national dances. The Hailing is for a single dancer and is in -f- time. The sturdy peasants admire most of all the dancer who, as the Hail- ing grows more and more animated, can leap into the air and strike the rafters with his foot.
Lyric Pieces, Op.38 (Grieg, Edvard)
This music is in char- acter, but not in any way remarkable. Nor is the waltz, which is next in the series, an inspired piece of work. The Cradle Song, in five sharps, will repay the exploring reader. In his third book of Lyric Pieces, Op.
The five numbers from this set included in the present volume all deserve special mention. Butterfly is an example of fleetness and the light touch. Lonely Wanderer is a concentrated mood pidhire, filled with the regretful melancholy implied in the title. Little Bird is an echo of the forest, and not wanting in hints of its mystery and solitude.
There are un- dertones of foreboding in this little piece. Erotic is persuasive but not commanding. It lacks the fire and passion that would win a woman.
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To the Spring is one of the most deservedly popular of Grieg's short pieces. It has indu- bitable grace and tenderness, and its left-hand melody, afterward heard in odtaves in the right hand, must sing with sustained yet never insistent tones, to draw down into material form this del- icate piece of imagination. Rhythmically it is fe- licitous, and harmonically it is happily contrived. This is one of Grieg's approaches to a mood of thrilled ecstasy ; it is a work of genuine imagina- tion and feeling. Peer Gynt pronounced "Pair Gunt" is Henrik Ib- sen's allegoric and legendary personage, who, after a wild youth as a braggart and adventurous Norwegian peasant, passes in foreign countries through phases of selfishness and grandiloquent self-deception, until at the end, having sought to balance deliberate evil by hypocritical good, he is threatened with a return to the melting-pot of the Button Molder, to have his neutral and wasted identity merged into the general mass.
Peer is a conscienceless rascal, but he is not with- out sympathetic qualities. Ase is his old mother, whose life he has helped to harass with his fro- ward doings. After robbing a bridegroom of his bride, and carrying her on his back to a moun- tain fastness. Peer has had a price set upon his head. Exiled thus, he has curious adventures. Looking amorously upon a daughter of the King of the Mountain Trolls, a magic and mischiev- ous folk.
Peer is all but ready to swear allegiance to their band, but refuses when told such an oath is irrevocable. Seeking to escape from their domain. Peer is chased by these maleficent imps, with a poor chance for his life, until the ring- ing of far-away church bells, by his mother and Solvejg, the one woman who believes in him, causes the Mountain King's hall to vanish and sets Peer free.
By night, he steals back to his old home in the valley, to find his mother dying.
To soothe her passing, and to salve his own conscience. Peer harnesses a chair by her bed and pretends to be driving her to the castle gates guarded by St. With singular pathos, the imaginary ride is brought to a halt by the weary passenger's release. We next come upon Peer Gynt, gray, rich, and accompanied by a quartet of globe- trotting tourists, as a leisurely wanderer in North Africa.
Anitra, daughter of a sheik, dances for him, and he has adventures too many to recount, until, broken in health and purse, he fares back to Norway, and at last finds refuge with the faithful and patient Solvejg, who had waited for him from youth to middle age, in serene confi- dence of his return. The Death ofAse is Grieg at his best So simple are the two four-measure phrases out of which its two pages are built, that one may easily under- rate the creative energy required to produce them.
Strangely haunting is this accompaniment to the waning moments of the weary Norwegian woman. Not a note too many has Grieg woven into this musical pattern. It is a masterpiece in miniature. In playing it, the slurs binding together each phrase within itself must be carefully observed. The tempo should not be too slow, yet there must be no sense of haste. Her dance was of tropical languor, and Grieg came as near to suggesting this as his cool northern nature would permit.
It is music of exquisite grace. In the Hall of the Mountain King has been called a bit of musical claptrap. It is, however, in the true sense, pidhire music, writ- ten for the theatre, to heighten the tension of a dramatic episode, and in this it succeeds admira- bly. A single idea, repeated under all manner of harmonic guises, and with increasing stringency of rhythmic accent, sums up its musical content. Begun slowly, as the venomous hill trolls start their cat-and-mouse game with the hapless Peer, the pace grows faster and faster, ending in a furi- ous rout.
After Peer Gynt's futile attempt to carry off Anitra, which left him convinced that women were a worthless crew, Ibsen's drama ironically shows us the devoted Solvejg, now a middle-aged woman, fair-haired and comely, sitting alone with her spinning-wheel in the sunshine, before her hut in the forest. From the fourth book of Lyric Pieces is taken another Spring Dance in G major with a full complement of fifths and oftaves. Wholesome music this, and aglow with vigor.
Out of Op.
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Grotesquerie that is ex- pressive and appropriate is found in March of the Dwarfs y from the fifth book of Lyric Pieces. The - - rhythm, with its great number of ac- cented staccato notes, calls up efFeftively a vision of the precision and nimbleness of the little peo- ple. The tender cantabile theme that provides contrast bears an intervallic likeness to one of the Humor es ken.
In the same set is the NotturnOy a composition of elegiac mood, containing a lovely melody. It is at best a musical oddity, seek- ing to imitate, by a long series of open fifths, the confused jarring tones of a chime of bells. To get any efFeft in performing it, variety must be obtained by strongly marked dynamicgradations.