Piano Concerto in A Minor was written in June 1867 and completed during the Griegs' summer
holiday in Denmark in 1868. The concerto was first published in 1872 and was an immediate
success. Despite this, Grieg was not entirely satisfied and kept making revisions to the work.
The first movement: Allegro molto moderato is full of passion and tension. The movement begins
with a striking drum roll crescendo and piano solo. The wonderful piano cadenza deals mainly
with the 'march' like theme and the movement ends as it started, with a brilliant piano solo
changing the mood as if the sun had come out from behind the clouds.
The second movement: Adagio illustrates clearly Grieg's romantic feelings and love
for his country's beautiful scenery and national spirit. The piano takes over
the melody from the strings and changes the mood to a proud statement. The solo horn
underlines the solitude as the piano prepares for the finale. The third movement: Allegro
molto moderato e marcato - quasi presto - andante maestoso is without doubt music reminisent
of Norwegian mountain peaks, valleys and misty fjords and the piano climax leads into
a beautiful finale of the most majestic proportions.
Peer Gynt. Although perhaps the most famous work of Grieg, it is a wonder that it
ever came about. Grieg admired Henrik Ibsens's play but thought it completely unsuitable
to write music to, and when the score was finally completed in September 1875, Ibsen was not
happy, but reluctantly agreed that the music made his play easier to comprehend. The premier
in Oslo, the 24th February 1876, was a great success but Grieg and Ibsen were noted for their
absence. Still not satisfied, Grieg wrote the four movement instrumental Suite No. 1 Op. 46 in
1888 in which the order of the movements were entirely different to the play, and in 1891 he
completed Suite No. 2 Op. 55. The two suites represent perhaps the best of Grieg's music.