Robert J Farr
, April 2012
Grieg is above all else a Norwegian composer and his music reflects much of the diversity of his country. This is well illustrated by the accompaniment of the popular Piano Concerto in A minor with the views of the landscape (CHs.1-3) in its diverse variety of fjord, mountain, waterfall and lowland meadow with cattle. The allegro, adagio and allegro moderato are heard with distinct effort made to match the more tranquil pastoral scenes with the vibrancy of waterfall or river to the musical mood and tempo.
Nothing could be more relevant than Grieg’s house with its lakeside setting (CHs.4-5). The study where he composed is shown and the well-appointed house with its wooden floors and tasteful but homely period furniture. These pictures are accompanied by his Two Melodies op. 53.
Bergen, Grieg’s birthplace, capital of West Norway and built on seven hills, is the focus of the remaining pictures. The city’s origin lies on the coast and harbour of Puddefjord, from which, over the years, it has grown. Traditional wooden houses are seen along with boats on the waterside (CH.6). The music accompaniment titled Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, op. 65 No.6 was originally a piano piece and perhaps renamed to recall the occasion of the composer’s silver wedding. It complements the brief views of Bergen’s waterside, the fish market, and boats accompanied by Norwegian Bridal Procession op. 19 (CH.7.)
The remaining views of Bergen include the often-idiosyncratic colourful houses and the sun shining on the people in the park and on the river moorings. It’s accompanied by the music of Grieg’s Two Norwegian Airs op. 63 (CH.8). The funicular ascending the mountains, the views from atop and then some spectacular photography of twilight by the river and moorings and the sun slowly setting are all well caught by the music of Grieg’s Two Elegiac Melodies op. 34 nos. 1 and 2 (CHs.9-10).
Although I yearned for some of the Peer Gynt Suite, that is merely me being greedy. There is enough of Norway to justify another in this series. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review