Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Grieg Ballade - Perhaps His Greatest Work For Solo Piano...

In watching the great Norwegian pianist Andsnes perform the Ballade in "G", Opus 24, I found myself wondering "which is more important to me - the popularity, indeed well deserved, of his Piano Concerto; or, the singularity of the Ballade?"
I have long been of the opinion that the Ballade is his most important solo piece for the piano. For those of you who are not aware of  the Ballade, and know of the Concerto, I would respectfully ask you to listen to this work:
It is a large piece, consisting of variations emanating from a Norwegian theme, which begins and ends the work. The variations are wonderfully engineered, demonstrating the mastery at its highest level of this grief-ridden composer, who had just lost his only child, at the age of one.
Grieg pours his tortured soul into the music, resulting for us in a powerful demonstration of how music can envelope the listener and take him or her with the composer on a journey of illimitable terraces of emotion.
For me, this composition best demonstrates most efficiently the power of expression that  Grieg can impart.
Do listen, if you are not familiar with this work.

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