‘Elegie’ / Elegy, Op38/6 by Edvard Grieg


This recording is from Arne Brattland’s first recording from 1987, Grieg, Duarte and Biberian. The sheet music is also available from our shop.

Programme Notes by John W. Duarte (1987)

Grieg wrote nothing for the guitar but, far distant from Spain and dying two years before Andrès Segovia made his modest debut there, he may well have been unaware of the instrument. He was however well aware of the piano, his own instrument, and he wrote numerous miniatures for it; strongly melodic, coloured with “personal” harmony, and lyrically Romantic, they are in direct line of those from Schumann. The expressive range of the miniature, not least the Romantic kind, is one that is very well suited to the guitar, whose variety of tone-colour can also help to characterise the music. This was recognized at an early stage by the Spanish guitarist Francisco Tarréga (1852-1909), the first to arrange (four of) Grieg’s miniatures for the guitar, an example since followed by many others, including Arne Brattland. It is difficult to think of Grieg’s music without thinking also of the word “lyrical” and Grieg himself made no effort to do so! His piano music alone includes, in addition to several sets of Norwegian folk-related pieces, no less than ten sets of “Lyric Pieces” (Op. 12, 38, 43, 47, 54, 57, 62, 65, 68, 71), the earliest of them written in 1867, soon after his dedication to the Norwegian national-musical cause, and the last in1901, five years before the end of his productive life; it is from some of these that the items in this recording are adapted. The proof of a pudding is in the eating and that of an arrangement is in the hearing; somewhere, Grieg may be enjoying the taste of these present ones.


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