Music Composers

Edvard Grieg-Part 10

Those who heard Grieg play such pieces as his Butterflies and To Spring have said that he seemed to create an atmosphere about them that was like the humming of bees or the gentle wafting of zephyrs. Once the piece was started, it seemed to rise in the atmosphere like a bird, and soar gently but surely, never alighting until the end. When he played in London crowds gathered around the doors as early as eleven o'clock in the morning and waited until their opening in the evening. There was only one Grieg and they were not going to miss hearing him.

What Tchaikovsky Thought of Grieg

The great Russian master was one of the most enthusiastic admirers of Grieg. He delighted to read his music and felt that each piece contained some new and characteristic message. He said, "Hearing the pieces of Grieg we instinctively recognize that it was written by a man impelled by an irresistible impulse to give vent by means of sounds to a poetical emotion, which obeys no theory or principle, is stamped with no impress but that of vigorous and sincere artistic feeling. Perfection of form, strict and irreproachable logic in the development of his themes are not perseveringly sought after by the Norwegian master. But what grace, what inimitable and rich musical imagery. What warmth and passion in his melodic passages, what teeming vitality in his harmony, what originality and beauty in the turn of his piquant and inglorious modulations and rhythms, and in all the rest what interest, novelty and independence! If we add to all this that rarest of qualities, a perfect simplicity far removed from all affectation and pretence to obscurity and far-fetched novelty, etc., etc."

"I trust that it will not appear like self-glorification that my dithyramb in praise of Grieg precedes the statement that our natures are closely allied. Speaking of Grieg's high qualities, I do not at all wish to convey the idea that I am endowed with an equal share of them. I leave it to others to decide how far I am lacking in all that Grieg possesses in such abundance, but I cannot help stating the fact that he exercises, and has exercised, some measure of that attractive force which always drew me toward the gifted Norwegian."

The Etude Magazine June 1913





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