It’s striking that Griegs Lyrical Pieces are seldom to be heard on the concertstage. Perhaps for keyboard lions they’re not virtuoso enough , allthough some of them are surely challenging from the technical point of view. And the simplicity of other ones make these particularly vulnerable. Many pianist may find the Lyrical Pieces too accesible: music that can evoke a mood or an emotion that easily will be listened to with suspicion. Evocative Griegs’ pieces are for sure: domestic warmth , melancholy, nostalgia for days days gone by, the sweet pain of an old love affair, the beauty of nature, the composer succeeds every time to evoke the corresponding association within a few bars. For amateurs this accessibility has never posed any problem, professionals on the other hand easily categorize this kind of music as not appropiate to perform in public.
Grieg loved to use Norwegian folkmusic in his works and so he does in his Lyrical pieces. Is this way he fits into an all European trend in late 19th century music with composers who became conscious of their nationalistic feelings, like Jánacek and Smetana in Czechia or Albeníz in Spain, and started to express those feelings in their music.
The 66 short (and sometimes a bit longer) pieces have been composed between 1867 and 1901. The cycle opens with an Arietta and in the concluding epilogue (Efterklang) its melody returns in a subtle way.
The link to the livestreaming: https://youtu.be/D9g6RxF0kRE
Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) – Lyrical pieces (selection)
1.Arietta op.12 nr.1 (1867)
2.Folkevise (Folkmelody) op. 38 nr.2 (1884)
3. Elegie op. 38 nr.6 (1884)
4. Somerfugl (Butterfly) op. 43 nr. 1 (1886)
5. Liden Fugl (Little Bird) op. 43 nr.4 (1886)
6. Erotik op. 43 nr.5 (1886)
7.Til Foråret (To spring) op. 43 nr.6 (1886)
8.Valse-Impromptu op. 47 nr.1 (1888)
9. Troldtog (March of the Trolls) op. 54 nr.3 (1891)
10.Notturno (Nocturne) op. 54 nr.4 (1891)
11. Svundne Dage (Vanished Days) op. 57 nr.1 (1893)
12. Illusion op. 57 nr.3 (1893)
13. Hemmelighed (Secret) op. 57 nr.4 (1893)
14. Fra Ungdomsdagene (From Days of Youth) op. 65 nr.1 (1897)
15.Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen (Weddingday at Troldhagen) op. 65 nr.6 (1897)
16. Der var engang (Once upon a Time) op. 71 nr.1 (1901)
17.Sommeraften( Summerevening) op. 71 nr.2 (1901)
18.Efterklang (Memories) op. 71 nr.7 (1901)