Edvard Grieg

Grieg, Edvard Hagerup

Edvard Hagerup Grieg (ĕd´vär hä´gərōōp grēg), 1843–1907, Norwegian composer. Grieg developed a strongly nationalistic style which made him known as "the Voice of Norway." He received piano lessons from his mother and later studied at the Leipzig Conservatory. Influenced by N. V. Gade, Grieg at first wrote in the idiom of German romanticism, but after 1864, when the composer Richard Nordraak (1842–65) introduced him to Norwegian folk music, he turned to the heritage of his own country. In 1867 he founded the Norwegian Academy of Music. For his original and characteristically lyrical songs, he used texts by Norwegian poets, and he made settings of Norwegian folk songs that he had collected. His wife, the singer Nina Hagerup Grieg, was an outstanding interpreter of his songs. He continued, however, to write songs with German texts in the style of Mendelssohn and Schumann, a style that also permeates his piano pieces. In 1869, Grieg established his fame as a leading composer with his Concerto in A Minor for piano and orchestra, appearing himself as the solo pianist in its first performance. His subsequent compositions, generally confined to short lyric forms, include the cantata Olav Trygvason (1873) and the suite of incidental dramatic music, Peer Gynt (1876). Grieg's impressionistic harmonies, and his use of short melodic phrases, influenced later composers such as Debussy, Tchaikovsky, MacDowell, and Sibelius.

See F. Benestad and D. Schjelderup-Ebbe, Edvard Grieg (tr. by W. H. Halverson and L. B. Sateren, 1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The World of Great Composers
David Ewen.
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)" begins on p. 412
A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians
Hugh Allen; Granville Bantock; Edward J. Dent; Henry J. Wood; A. Eaglefield-Hull.
J. M. Dent & Sons, 1924
Librarian’s tip: "Grieg, Edvard" begins on p. 200
Composers of Yesterday: A Biographical and Critical Guide to the Most Important Composers of the Past
David Ewen; David Ewen.
H. W. Wilson, 1937
Librarian’s tip: "Edvard Grieg," p. 193
Victor Book of Concertos
Abraham Veinus.
Simon and Schuster, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "Piano Concerto In A Minor (OP. 16)" by Grieg Edvard begins on p. 171
Composers on Composers
John L. Holmes.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) begins on p. 72
The New Guide to Recorded Music
Irving Kolodin.
Doubleday, 1950
Librarian’s tip: "Edvard Grieg" begins on p. 184
Stories of Symphonic Music: A Guide to the Meaning of Important Symphonies, Overtures, and Tone-Poems from Beethoven to Debussy
Lawrence Gilman.
Garden City Publishing, 1937
Librarian’s tip: "Grieg" begins on p. 123
Listening to Music Creatively
Edwin J. Stringham.
Prentice-Hall, 1946
Librarian’s tip: "Peer Gynt Suite" by Grieg begins on p. 108
Grainger on Music
Malcolm Gillies; Bruce Clunies Ross.
Oxford University, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 39 "Grieg: Nationalist and Cosmopolitan (1943)"
Nordic Art Music: From the Middle Ages to the Third Millennium
Frederick Key Smith.
Praeger, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Pianist and Poet: Edvard Grieg" begins on p. 47
Romanticism (1830-1890)
Gerald Abraham.
Oxford University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "Grieg" begins on p. 767
Letters of Composers: An Anthology, 1603-1945
Gertrude Norman; Gertrude Norman; Miriam Shrifte Lubell; Miriam Lubell Shrifte.
A.A. Knopf, 1946
Librarian’s tip: "Edvard Grieg" begins on p. 29
The Piano: Its History, Makers, Players and Music
Albert E. Wier.
Longmans, Green, 1940
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Edvard Grieg begins on p. 164
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