The composer Edvard Grieg was at the forefront of a flourishing of creativity that took place in Scandinavian culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, alongside his contemporaries, Nielsen and Sibelius.
His imagination was particularly fired by the folk music and stories of his native Norway; it is, therefore, unsurprising that the music that resulted from this passion is some of his most popular with listeners. One such example is Peer Gynt, incidental music composed for Henrik Ibsen’s play, based on the Norwegian folk tale Per Gynt. Although the play itself met with a mixed reception, Grieg’s music, extracted and turned into two orchestral suites in 1888 and 1891, has become a staple of the concert hall – there cannot be many listeners unfamiliar with the fantastical sounds of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ or the sublime evocation of sunrise in ‘Morning Mood’.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.