Music Composers

Edvard Grieg-Part 9

Grieg's Personality and Appearance

Grieg's appearance was very striking despite the fact that he was not tall. He wore his hair long. It was straight and very nearly white at an early age. His eyes were blue and very intelligent. The fact that he had asthma gave him a tendency to stoop. Grieg had a charming personality, genial, keenly intelligent, simple and enthusiastic. He naturally had many friends. He was extremely modest. Tchaikavski described his glance as that of one recalling a charming and candid child.

Grieg as a Performer

Frank Van der Stucken gave Mr. Henry T Finck the following account of Grieg's art as a performer. "As a performer, Grieg is the most original I ever heard. Though his technic suffered somewhat from the fact that a heavy wagon crushed one of his hands, and that he lost the use of one of his lungs in his younger days, he has a way of performing his compositions that is simply unique. While it lacks the breadth that a professional virtuoso infuses in his work, he offsets this by the most poetic conception of lyric parts and a wonderfully crisp and buoyant execution of the rhythmical passages."

Grieg's Public Work

Grieg's naturally delicate constitution and nervous temperament prevented him from doing as much concert work as he would have done had he been a robust man. Dr. Edward Hanslick, the noted Vienese critic, said of his performances, "His piano playing is enchantingly tender and elegant, and at the same time entirely individual. He plays like a great composer who is thoroughly at home at the piano, neither being its tyrant nor its slave - not like a traveling virtuoso who also devotes some attention to composing. His technic is at the same time flawless, well groomed and smooth. Grieg need not fear to enter the lists against many a virtuoso; but he contents himself with the finished execution of lyrical pieces and dispenses with capering battle horses."

The Etude Magazine June 1913





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