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Edvard Grieg


Edvard Grieg is to Norway what Bartok is to Hungary or Dvorak to Czechoslovakia: he endeavored to introduce and implement the music endemic to his own country into the works he composed. Significantly however, it is not as a nationalist that he is mainly known, for his most popular works -- the two Peer Gynt Suites and the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 -- are more akin to the lush and overtly romantic compositions of Tchaikovsky. In many circles where "serious" music is appreciated, Grieg has unfortunately been dismissed as dated -- a writer of classical pop and not much more. This ignores both his lesser-heard, more difficult works, not to mention the undeniable charm in his more well-known pieces: the "Adagio" movement in the aforementioned Piano Concerto, for example, begins with a lovely and moving section for the strings that possesses a stately grandeur and develops at an unhurried pace. When piano finally enters, it brings along with it a truly stirring, yet understated melody that compliments the orchestra wonderfully. A precious moment among many from an underappreciated composer.
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