This is Worcester 9 August 2004
09/08/2004 :: Grieg Piano Concerto/Symphonic Dances by Edvard Grieg.
Havard Gimse, piano. Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conductor Bjarte Engeset.
Norwegian, Edvard Grieg aspired to promote his homeland and painting with music was a phrase he used to describe his inspiration.
Born in Bergen, he was initially taught by his mother, but left to attend the Leipzig Conservatoire.
He then moved to Denmark, which held great sway over the development of culture in Norway.
As he grew older he realised the potential in the folk music and culture of his own country and promoted Norwegian Nationalism in this way.
The Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.16 has a wild and forceful start, which leads to some lyrical and delicate phrasing.
Technically demanding, after Peer Gynt, it is probably the most famous of Grieg's works.
In the concerto, the theme of nature is never far away, the waterfalls, the sudden changes in the weather and the deep, still waters of the fiords are easy for all to imagine.
The Symphonic Dances Op 64 embody the Norwegian spirit, full of humour, yet deeply nationalistic.
If you are not familiar with Grieg's music you will be surprised to know just how much has been used in film tracks and is therefore familiar.
From older films such as Son of Lassie to the more modern The Railway Children and Babe, Grieg's colourful and emotive compositions have both moved us to tears and made us laugh.