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Work

Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg Composer

3 Scenes from Folk Life, Op.19   

Performances: 20
Tracks: 30
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Musicology:
  • 3 Scenes from Folk Life, Op.19
    Year: 1869–71
    Genre: Other Keyboard
    Pr. Instrument: Piano
    • 1.Fjellslått (In the Mountains)
    • 2.Brudefølget drager forbi (Bridal Procession)
    • 3.Fra karnevalet (From the Carnival)
His very famous Piano Concerto in A minor aside, Edvard Grieg was known during his lifetime and is today remembered more or less exclusively for his proficiency at the musical miniature. Even the celebrated and very worthy Peer Gynt incidental music is, when you get right down to it, a collection of miniatures/ Grieg certainly composed longer, more "substantial" works, but it was his piano bonbons that really engraved his name in the public consciousness. The ten volumes of Lyric Pieces for piano and the four Album Leaves of Op. 28—in these works are pieces that every young pianist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whether of serious ambition or of the variety that played the instrument only because it was expected of a young lad or lady of manners and class, had in their fingers. Reigning as the most popular of all Grieg piano miniatures is the second of the three Pictures from Life in the Country, Op. 19, of 1870 and 1871. The collection's title is variously translated as Pictures from Peasant Life, Pictures from Everyday Life, and so on; Grieg's original title is Folkelivsbilleder, and he described them as "humoresques."

The first of the Op. 19 Pictures is called "In the Mountains" or "Mountain Tune"; No. 2 is the "Bridal Procession" (reused by Grieg in the Peer Gynt music); and the third piece is "From the Carnival" or "Carnival Scene." "In the Mountains" opens with a quietly rumbling A minor melody in octaves that gradually grows in strength as a full harmonic accompaniment builds around it; a second melody, flitting gracefully atop a twitch-like neighbor-note idea in an inner voice, takes over in A major. The opening rumble starts again to round out a basic three-part form. The "Bridal Procession" music is merry rather than solemn, with a twinkling, ornamented melody that bounces along from start to finish. While they still must be considered musical individuals, the three pieces of Op. 19 are actually somewhat connected to one another, topically and musically; for as the third reaches its culmination, Grieg quotes snippets from the first and second as if the happy carnival-goers are recalling or perhaps witnessing the mountain and wedding scenes.

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