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Edvard Grieg also known as Edvard Hagerup Grieg, Edward - View Sheet Music for this Artist
  • a.k.a.: Edvard Hagerup Grieg
  • Norwegian
  • 15th June 1843 - 4th September 1907
  • You might know him for: Peer Gynt Suite No.1 (which includes In The Hall of the Mountain King from the film Rat Race)

Edvard Grieg appeared on the musical scene through the generous recommendation of a Norwegian violin virtuoso, who suggested that the young Grieg should attend the Leipzig Conservatory. Displeased with his first teacher, 15-year old Grieg found happiness in one that introduced him to the music of Schumann, which remained a lifelong passion of Grieg’s. A further disconcerting occurrence at Leipzig was his contraction of pleurisy, a respiratory disorder, which also remained a part of his life. After 4 years he moved to Copenhagen until 1866. During this time away, he composed a symphony, with clearly written instructions on the top of the paper “Never to be performed.”

Grieg married his cousin, singer Nina Hagerup when he returned to Norway and completed Piano Symphony in A Minor (1868). At this time, he was staying with Ole Bull, the violinist that “discovered” him and was inevitably introduced to Norwegian folk music. This allowed him to express himself in composing “nationalist” music and he desperately tried to rid his Norwegian culture of Danish influence. Grieg’s music was characterized by Norwegian folk melodies and the work of Norwegian writers at the time, no doubt a heavy influence from young composer Rikard Nordraak. Grieg suffered a mild mid-life crisis at the age of 40, clearly disappointed with his composing and his marriage. However, with a move to a new city and a yearly routine that included composing in the spring and summer and devoting the rest of the year to concerto tours, Grieg soon regained his stable mental and physical state. When Edvard played piano concerts, and his wife accompanied him with singing, there was many a comment that there were far better singers. But it would be futile to bring in other women, for Nina was the sole person, according to Grieg, who understood his music. Claude Debussy made it a clear fact he was not a supporter of Grieg’s music, probably because he lacked an understanding, saying Grieg was “Bonbons wrapped in snow.”

The music of Edvard Grieg is deeply rooted in and was a great influence of Norway’s liberal arts. His wildly popular Peer Gynt Suite No.1, based on Henrik Ibsen’s poetic drama Peer Gynt remains a favorite of the Norwegian people and he will be forever immortalized as Norway’s greatest composer.

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