Five essential works by Grieg

We choose the best pieces by the Norweigan composer

grieg_625-85ac161-faa3ffe.jpg

Piano Concerto

Advertisement

Including one of the most famous concerto openings, Grieg’s sole completed work in the genre won Liszt’s admiration.

Recommended recording:
Leif Ove Andsnes; Berlin Philharmonic/Mariss Jansons
EMI 394 3992

Peer Gynt

Grieg’s incidental music to Ibsen’s drama includes two perennial hits – ‘Morning’ and the splendidly menacing ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.

Recommended recording:
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham
EMI 965 9342

Lyric Pieces

These unassuming yet haunting pieces sowed the seeds for some of the most revolutionary and forward-looking music of the 20th century.

Recommended recording:
Emil Gilels
DG 449 7212

Holberg Suite

Classical grace appropriately informs this suite in homage to the 18th-century Norwegian-born playwright Ludvig Holberg, born a year before BachHandel and Scarlatti.

Recommended recording:
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Terje Tønnesen
BIS CD 147

Haugtussa

Grieg’s genius is most evident in his songs, largely inspired by the singing talent of his wife. His song cycle Haugtussa (‘The Mountain Maid’) is one of his greatest works, with strikingly impressionistic piano writing.

Advertisement

Recommended recording:
Katarina Karnéus (mezzo-soprano), Julius Drake (piano)
Hyperion CDA 67670