GRIEG: Lyric Pieces, Books 1 - 10

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Edvard Grieg

(1843 -1907)

Lyric Pieces (selections)

 Among Grieg's works, the Lyric Pieces seem to have a specialplace with a special significance in their order. That he apparently viewedthem in the same way is clear from the fact that his last lyrical piece, 'Remembrances',Op. 71, No. 7, in 1901, quotes his first piece, 'Arietta', Op. 12, No. 1, of 1867. Thus the circleis completed, marking the end of the period in which he was concerned with thistype of piano piece, a type that the whole world loved, admired, and above all,played. Even though he revealed his deepest, most intimate feelings in many ofthe lyrical pieces, the music remains approachable and is often played. Itwould probably be hard to find the piano student who has not learned tolove these lyrical pieces, in spite of their occasional difficulty, and doesnot feel that the struggle has been worth while, if the results are good. Oneshould ignore the fact that they have at times been looked upon with disdain asinferior. In fact they have survived as music that is both living and vital,because they are so strongly rooted in the consciousness of the people. The expression Lyric Pieces is actually Grieg's owninvention, but does not describe a genre. Character-pieces for the piano, withor without descriptive titles, have a long tradition and Grieg is only one tocontribute to this, although his contribution is a very important one. Each ofhis lyric pieces, like Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte, expresses onlyone mood, one feeling. From the publication of the second book, in 1883, (thefirst one came out in 1867), Grieg went on to publish collections of Lyric Pieces

at regular intervals until 1901. They cover the greater part of Grieg's lifeas an established composer, and represent more or less every single facet ofhis personal style. No attempt has been made to hide the fact that the lyric piecesgradually became good business, both for Grieg himself, as well as for thepublishers. In a letter to Peters, Grieg called them Semmeln - fragrant,fresh-baked, bread - and the fact of the matter is that they were indeed soldlike "hot cakes". No wonder the publisher Peters, in London and Frankfurt, was delighted every time Grieg delivered a manuscript for a new album of pianopieces. He was strongly attached to many of these pieces and enjoyed playingthem, while there were others that he was not pleased with at all. In a letterto his friend, Emil Horneman, he writes:

My Silence is unforgivable, because I honestIy haven't doneanything, other than the so-called, "Lyric Pieces", which aresurrounding me like lice and fleas in the country.
(Letter to EmilHorneman, 15 September 1898)

Other people also made snide remarks about them, such as Debussy'scomment that the lyric pieces were like "pink candies filled with snow,"probably alluding to the pink covers on the editions of the albums from Peters.

Grieg's Lyric Pieces contain 66 compositions, published inten albums, during the years from 1867 to 1901. Most of these albums wereprinted again several times, and many of the pieces were published separately.

Several of the most popular of them were published in innumerable arrangements,some by Grieg himself, but mostly by others.  ?ÿyvindNordheim

English translation: Phyllis Nyquist For the complete programme notes for the individual volumes of the Lyric Pieces, please refer to the 'About This Recording' for Naxos 8.553393 (Books 1 to 3), 8.553394 (Books 4 to 7) and 8.553395 (Books 8 to 10) on the website or Naxos Digital Library.
Item number 8554051
Barcode 636943405123
Release date 12/01/1999
Category Romantic
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Steen-Nokleberg, Einar
Steen-Nokleberg, Einar
Composers Grieg, Edvard
Grieg, Edvard
Disc: 1
Lyric Pieces, Book 10
1 No. 1, Arietta
2 No. 4, Elves' Dance
3 No. 5, Folk Song
4 No. 1, Cradle Song
5 No. 2, Folk Song
6 No. 5, Folk Dance
7 No. 7, Waltz
8 No. 1, Butterfly
9 No. 4, Little Bird
10 No. 6, To the Spring
11 No. 1, Valse Impromptu
12 No. 2, Album Leaf
13 No. 3, Melody
14 No. 4, Norwegian Dance
15 No. 1, Herd Boy
16 No. 2, Norwegian March
17 No. 3, March of the Trolls
18 No. 4, Nocturne
19 No. 6, Nostalgia
20 No. 3, French Serenade
21 No. 4, Brooklet
22 No. 6, Homeward
23 No. 5, In Ballad Style
24 No. 6, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
25 No. 5, Cradle Song
26 No. 3, Puck
27 No. 7, Remembrances
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