Melody, Op. 47 No. 3
Evening in the Mountains, Op. 65 No. 4
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Op. 65 No. 6
With his “Lyric Pieces”, Edvard Grieg was writing a kind of poetic piano diary: between 1867 and 1901 he composed 66 short character pieces, published in ten books. Pieces such as “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen”, “March of the dwarfs” or “To the spring” are among Grieg’s best-known works.
As a composer Edvard Grieg was fortunate to be a success while still alive. First of all it was because of his piano-concerto in a-minor and the music for Peer Gynt, but also as a composer of romances and of small piano-pieces Grieg became famous and relatively wealthy. He spent much time on travels, and received impressions from the big musical metropolis like Leipzig, Prague, Berlin, London and Paris, as well as the Norwegian mountains. He found new ways of approach to the Norwegian folk music, with the result that in the late 19th century France they spoke about two main stiles in music; the Russian school and the Norwegian School. On his many journeys in Europe he met, and became a good friend of, other composers like Peter Tchaikowsky, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Frederic Delius, Camille Saint-Saens, Julius Röntgen, Edward MacDowell and more. He influenced other composers, first of all Bela Bartok, but also Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy are influenced by Edvard Grieg.
Even though Edvard Grieg was well paid by Peters Verlag in Leipzig for his compositions, it was said that they flagged at the publishers every time they received a new collection of Lyric Pieces, it was through his tours that Grieg received his main income. He was indefatigable on his concert tours. With only one lung working it is astounding that he managed to cope with the life on tour. Luckily he was able to return to Norway and Troldhaugen for the summers, and through walks in the nature get his energy back before he left for Europe in the autumn. The extensive touring with innumerable concerts, combined with a weak health condition was to put an end to his life. His body couldn't take more, even though his will to continue absolutely was present. In September 1907 he and Nina planned to participate on the music-festival in Leeds, England. They had left Troldhaugen for the season and lodged at Hotel Norge in Bergen, waiting for the boat that should take them to England via the continent. Grieg became seriously ill and was hospitalised in Bergen, where he died on September 4th 1907 of chronic exhaustion.