Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

A Neglected Song Cycle

Donald Macleod introduces a rare complete performance of Grieg's final vocal masterpiece - his song-cycle Haugtussa (The Mountain Maid).

Grieg's gift for the fleeting, artful and utterly delightful musical miniature means that he's one of the most rearranged and reimagined composers in history. Instrumentalists of every shade down the years - from trombonists to accordionists, brass bands to hard rock collectives - have sought to cast Grieg's music in their own image. This week, Donald Macleod dips his toe into the vast array of arrangements of Edvard Grieg's music - introducing a selection of brilliant, often unorthodox musical creations - whilst taking us through five key works spanning the composer's career.

Although Grieg's solo songs are much beloved by performers, his only song cycle, the late masterpiece Haugtussa (The Mountain Maid) is rarely performed; in the final episode of this week's series, we hear it performed by the mezzo-soprano, Anne-Sofie von Otter. There's also a final dip into the plethora of arrangements of Grieg's music - including a two-piano version of his stirring "Homage March" - plus a rare outing for his very final work, the Four Psalms for baritone and chorus.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Fri 16 May 2014 18:30

Composer Help Page


Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.

Take a tour of Ravel's house

At Ravel's house at Montfort l'Amaury

Sara Mohr-Pietsch reveals Ravel's character in his exquisitely-decorated house near Paris

The absurdly talented Herr Mendelssohn


Donald Macleod reveals Mendelssohn's gift for sketching and watercolours.

Composers A to Z


Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.