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"The Last Spring" from Two Elegiac Melodies (Op. 34 No. 2) for Winds & Strings


Uploaded on Jul 20, 2018

Composer Edvard Grieg, the icon of Norwegian music, left his home in Bergen, Norway to study at the conservatory in Leipzig. There he began his formal musical education under the auspices of Ignaz Moscheles (piano) and Carl Reinecke (composition). While in school, the young composer saw the premiere of his first work, his String Quartet in D minor, performed in Karlshamn, Sweden. Despite being diagnosed with a form of tuberculosis, which left him with only one functioning lung, Grieg graduated from the conservatory in 1862. The composer had an intense desire to develop a national style of composition, but recognized the importance of becoming well versed in the work of the European masters, and consequently relocated to Copenhagen, studying with Niels Gade. He was thus able to remain in Scandanavia, while working in a thriving cultural center. In 1867 against his family's better judgment, Grieg married his cousin Nina Hagerup, a talented pianist, but whose vocal abilities enchanted the composer even more. Shortly after their wedding, the couple moved to Oslo, where Grieg supported them by teaching piano and conducting. He and his wife traveled extensively throughout Europe and it was during a period of time spent in Denmark, the composer wrote his landmark opus, the Piano Concerto in A minor. The premiere was given in 1869, with Edmund Neupert as the soloist. The piece was received with an enthusiasm that would attach itself to the composer's reputation for the remainder of his career.

In the period between 1877 - 1880, Grieg produced a set of songs as his Op. 33 on texts by a man some called the peasant-poet of Norway, Aasmund Vinje (1818 - 1870). The composer had been greatly inspired by the then-late poet's verses, so much so that after completing the set, he decided to arrange two of its songs for string orchestra, this one The Last Spring and The Wounded Heart. He made piano versions of them as well. The Last Spring is a sad piece, but sad in the heart-on-sleeve sense of Tchaikovsky, not in the dark, neurotic manner of Mahler. In the song version, the text tells of a dying man who is aware he is observing his last spring. The main theme in the instrumental versions is nostalgic and features considerable expressive depth, especially considering Grieg's penchant for lightness of mood even in melancholy works. It has an air of resignation about it, but as it struggles on, its manner sweetens a bit, nearly suggesting hope. Still, these brighter moments are only fleeting, as the music remains largely dark and anguished. The piano version is perhaps a bit bleaker, but also less lyrical than the warmer string orchestra account.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/elegiac-melodies-2-for-orchestra-or-piano-op-34-mc0002358507 )

Although originally created for String Orchestra, I created this Interpretation of the "The Last Spring" from Two Elegiac Melodies (Opus 34 No 2) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Classical

Pages 8
Duration 04:36
Measures 67
Key signature 1 sharp
Parts 9
Part names Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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