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Reimagining a Warhorse

Donald introduces three very different interpretations of Grieg's famous Piano Concerto, and explores its place in our collective musical consciousness.

Donald Macleod introduces three very different interpretations of Grieg's famous Piano Concerto, and explores its place in our collective musical consciousness.

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.

Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor holds an almost mythical place in our collective musical consciousness - by far the most popular and beloved piano concerto with the general public, listeners of a certain age still chuckle at the memory of "Mr Andrew Preview"'s performance on the Morecambe and Wise show. Today, Donald Macleod explores three very different versions of this iconic work - from the jazz-lounge of Ray Conniff, to Grieg's own two-piano arrangement of the opening movement, to a spellbinding jazz reimagining by the young British composer Gwilym Simcock - before ending the programme with Svistoslav Richter's coruscating performance of the finale with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Edvard Grieg

    Favourite Themes from Grieg's A minor concerto

    Orchestra: CONNIFF, RAY ORCHESTRA. Composer: Ray Conniff.
    • Concert in Rhythm, vol 2.
    • Columbia.
    • 11.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Concerto in A minor Op.16 for piano and orchestra

    Performer: Anthony Goldstone. Performer: Caroline Clemmow.
    • DIVINE ART : 250-42.
    • DIVINE ART.
    • 1.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Funeral march for Richard Nordraak, arr. for brass ensemble

    Ensemble: Brass Partout.
    • BIS : bis cd-1054.
    • BIS.
    • 12.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Sonata no. 2 in G major Op.13 for violin and piano

    Performer: Vadim Repin. Performer: Nikolai Lugansky.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : 477-8794.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 6.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Concerto in A minor Op.16 for piano and orchestra

    Performer: Sviatoslav Richter. Orchestra: Moscow State S O. Conductor: Kirill Kondrashin.
    • RCAPRD/DSD : 350-058.
    • RCAPRD/DSD.
    • 2.
  • Gwylim Simcock

    Exploration on mvt II of Grieg piano concerto

    Performer: Gwilym Simcock.
    • Basho Records SRCD-32-2.
    • Basho Records.
    • 2.

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