A Norwegian musician, Edward Grieg was initiated into the study of piano by his mother, who was a great pianist. Further studies were carried out at the Conservatories of Lipsia and Copenaghen, and he was influenced by R. Nordraak who revealed to him Norwegian popular
music. With Nordraak, Grieg founded the Enterpe Society in order to spread traditional Scandinavian Music.
Grieg is considered the most genuine musician of the Norwegian spirit and the founder and master of the Norwegian school. His love for his country's popular music led him away from the vain imitation of the school of German Romanticism.
His pieces are characterized by a particular inclination for harmonic inflecting (which anticipate Bartok's style). An admirer of Verdi, Grieg concentrated himself on the composition of music for theatre for H. Ibsen's Peer Gynt, and created moments of great expressivity such as
the two Suites (Op. 46 and 55) from the Opera which are considered his symphonic masterpieces.
Grieg owes his celebrity to short piano pieces and fragments of major works which allowed him to maintain the style of freshness and the pure feeling of popular melodies. He was able to depart from Romanticism and adopt a domestic tone, without falling into banality due to the
constant unexpectedness of harmony.
The 66 Lyrical Pieces and the 150 (circa) Lieder make up the greater and best part of Grieg's musical production. Other pieces are limited to: a sonata for piano, three sonatas for violin, a sonata for cello and a quartet.
The Kunst der Fuge Biographies of Composers: Grieg by Federica Vettori.
Contribution for the translation: Beverley Kay Drabsch.
Credits: Enciclopaedie Federico Motta editore; L'Enciclopedia di Repubblica, M. Mila.
Kunst der Fuge / On Classical, © 2003. All rights reserved.