Lyric Pieces

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Title page of the fourth volume of Lyric Pieces

Lyric Pieces (Norwegian: Lyriske stykker) is a collection of 66 short pieces for solo piano written by Edvard Grieg. They were published in 10 volumes, from 1867 (Op. 12) to 1901 (Op. 71). The collection includes several of his best known pieces, such as Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen), To Spring (Til våren), March of the Trolls (Trolltog), and Butterfly (Sommerfugl).

The theme of the first piece in the set, Arietta, was one of the composer's favorite melodies. He used it to complete the cycle in his very last lyric piece, Remembrances (Efterklang) — this time as a humorous waltz.

In 2002, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes recorded a CD with 24 of the lyric pieces on Grieg's own 1892 Steinway grand piano at Troldhaugen, the composer's residence. Among other notable pianists to make recordings of the collection are Walter Gieseking, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Eva Knardahl, Andrei Gavrilov, Håkon Austbø, Einar Steen-Noekleberg, and Gerhard Oppitz. A few recordings and piano rolls of Grieg himself performing also exist, and they have been published by the Norwegian record label Simax.

Four of the six pieces from Book V, Op. 54, were orchestrated under the title of Lyric Suite. Both Grieg and Anton Seidl had a hand in the orchestrations. Grieg also orchestrated two of the pieces from Book IX, Op. 68.

Complete listing[edit]

Even though it was published in several volumes, some publishers, such as Edition Peters, have numbered the pieces as a whole, thereby numbering the 66 pieces in order, instead of numbering each volume individually. The movement list is as follows:

Book I, Op. 12 (composed 1866-7?; published 1867):

  • No. 1, Arietta
  • No. 2, Vals (Waltz)
  • No. 3, Vektersang (Watchman's song, after Macbeth)
  • No. 4, Alfedans (Elves' dance)
  • No. 5, Folkevise (Popular melody)
  • No. 6, Norsk (Norwegian melody)
  • No. 7, Albumblad (Albumleaf)
  • No. 8, Fedrelandssang (National song)

Book II, Op. 38 (composed 1883 except where noted; published 1883):

  • No. 1, Berceuse
  • No. 2, Folkevise (Folk-song)
  • No. 3, Melodi (Melody)
  • No. 4, Halling (Dance)
  • No. 5, Springdans (Spring dance)[1]
  • No. 6, Elegi (Elegy)
  • No. 7, Vals (Waltz, originally composed 1866; revised 1883)
  • No. 8, Kanon (Canon, composed ca. 1877-8?; revised 1883)

Book III, Op. 43 (composed probably 1886; published 1886; ded. Isidor Seiss):

Recorded 1906

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  • No. 1, Sommerfugl (Butterfly)
  • No. 2, Ensom vandrer (Solitary traveller)
  • No. 3, I hjemmet (In my homeland)
  • No. 4, Liten fugl (Little bird)
  • No. 5, Erotikk (Erotikon)
  • No. 6, Til våren (To spring)

Book IV, Op. 47 (composed 1886-8 except where noted; published 1888):

  • No. 1, Valse-Impromptu
  • No. 2, Albumblad (Albumleaf)
  • No. 3, Melodi (Melody)
  • No. 4, Halling
  • No. 5, Melankoli (Melancholy)
  • No. 6, Springtanz (Spring dance,[1] composed 1872?; revised 1888)
  • No. 7, Elegi (Elegy)

Book V, Op. 54 (composed 1889-91; published 1891; Nos. 1-4 later orchestrated as Lyric Suite):

Performed live by Mark Gasser

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  • No. 1, Gjetergutt (Shepherd's boy)
  • No. 2, Gangar (Norwegian march)
  • No. 3, Trolltog (March of the Dwarfs)
  • No. 4, Notturno
  • No. 5, Scherzo
  • No. 6, Klokkeklang (Bell ringing)

Book VI, Op. 57 (composed 1890?-3; published 1893):

  • No. 1, Svundne dager (Vanished days)
  • No. 2, Gade
  • No. 3, Illusjon (Illusion)
  • No. 4, Geheimniss (Secret)
  • No. 5, Sie tanzt (She dances)
  • No. 6, Heimweh (Homesickness)

Book VII, Op. 62 (composed 1893?-5; published 1895):

  • No. 1, Sylfide (Sylph)
  • No. 2, Takk (Gratitude)
  • No. 3, Fransk serenade (French serenade)
  • No. 4, Bekken (Brooklet)
  • No. 5, Drømmesyn (Phantom)
  • No. 6, Hjemad (Homeward)

Book VIII, Op. 65 (composed 1896; published 1897):

Recorded 1903

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  • No. 1, Fra ungdomsdagene (From early years)
  • No. 2, Bondens sang (Peasant's song)
  • No. 3, Tungsinn (Melancholy)
  • No. 4, Salong (Salon)
  • No. 5, I balladetone (Ballad)
  • No. 6, Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen)

Book IX, Op. 68 (composed 1898-9; published 1899; Nos. 4 and 5 were orchestrated in 1899):

  • No. 1, Matrosenes oppsang (Sailor's song)
  • No. 2, Bestemors menuet (Grandmother's minuet)
  • No. 3, For dine føtter (At your feet)
  • No. 4, Aften på højfjellet (Evening in the mountains)
  • No. 5, Bådnlåt (At the cradle)
  • No. 6, Valse mélancolique (Melancholy waltz)

Book X, Op. 71 (composed and published 1901):

  • No. 1, Det var engang (Once upon a time)
  • No. 2, Sommeraften (Summer's eve)
  • No. 3, Småtroll (Puck)
  • No. 4, Skogstillhet (Peace in the woods)
  • No. 5, Halling
  • No. 6, Forbi (Gone)
  • No. 7, Etterklang (Remembrances)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Although Spring Dance is the traditional translation of the Norwegian Springdans, the word refers to its sense in English of "leap" or "jump" rather than to the season "spring". The booklet notes to Grieg: Complete Works for Piano Solo; Gerhard Oppitz, Piano (RCA Victor Red Seal 09026-61569-2, (c) & (P) 1993) use the less ambiguous translation "Leaping Dance".

Bibliography[edit]

  • Grieg, Edvard (2008): Thematisch-Bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis, ed. Dan Fog, Kirsti Grinde and Øyvind Norheim. Frankfurt/Main Leipzig London New York: Henry Litolffs Verlag
  • Horton, John and Nils Grinde, "Edvard Grieg," Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 25 May 2008)
  • Krellmann, Hanspeter (2008): Griegs lyrische Klavierstücke: Ein musikalischer Werkführer. München: C.H. Beck

External links[edit]