Eduard Grieg (1843-1907)

The Holberg Suite  

Prelude
Sarabande
Gavotte – Musette
Air
Rigaudon

Eduard Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway and began his music studies with his mother, an outstanding pianist. He continued his studies in Leipzig with Moscheles and Reinecke. He also studied at the Royal Copenhagen Conservatory with Niels Gade.

Grieg later settled in Bergen from where he toured throughout Europe as a conductor, pianist and accompanist to his wife, one of Norway’s most famous singers, Nina Hagerup.

Liszt was a great admirer of Grieg’s music as was Brahms. His incidental music to Ibsen’s great Drama “Peer Gynt” brought him fame throughout Europe.

The Holberg Suite (written originally for piano) was composed in honour of the celebrations marking the 200th Anniversary of the birth of  the great dramatist, philosopher and historian, Ludvig Holberg. It received its Premiere at the unveiling of a statue to Holberg in the centre of Bergen. In order to assist in raising funds for the statue, Grieg also wrote the piano pieces “Pages from an Album, op.28 and the “Improvisations on a Norwegian Folk song”, op.29.

Holberg was known as the “Moliere of the North”. Grieg therefore created a work in the form of a 17th Century French Suite for Clavecin. Later Grieg arranged the Suite for String Orchestra. As such it stands beside the great String Serenades of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak as part of the “sine qua non” for Chamber Orchestra. 

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