Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon
The final installment in Grieg's sets of Lyric Pieces comes very late in the composer's output in 1901, a time where illness kept him largely confined to his home, Troldhaugen, outside Bergen. In a September 1902 letter to American critic (and later, Grieg biographer) Henry T. Finck, Grieg writes:
"...if I told you that I was not composing anymore, this must not be taken literally. Last Christmas there appeared the tenth volume of Lyric Pieces. Soon all the ten parts will be published in a sumptuous volume by Peters."
With the printing of all ten sets together, Grieg seems to have been satisfied that he'd completed his work in this realm, and was probably glad to make a final break with the genre.
The tenth set of Lyric Pieces was published as Op. 71 and is dedicated to Mrs. Mien Röntgen, wife of the composer Julius Röntgen, dedicatee of the fifth set of Lyric Pieces, Op. 54. The opening "Der var engang" (Once Upon a Time) is in the form of a mini-tone poem. The outer sections are in the nature of a Swedish folk song, harmonized as a quiet chorale. The middle section is a lively Norwegian spring dance set in Grieg's best folk dance idiom, with bare fifths and subtle adjacent tones spelling out both accompaniment and rhythm. "Sommeraften" (Summer Evening) is a nocturnal reminiscence that bears resemblance to then-emerging trends in French music. "Småtrold" (Little Troll) returns to the musical terrain that Grieg famously explored in "March of the Trolls" from Op. 54. "Skovstilhed" (Still Woods) is likewise reflective; a quiet forest scene in a manner that recalls the music of Robert Schumann. The "Halling" that follows is one of the best known examples of this 2/4 Norwegian dance that Grieg composed. Here, as in "Summer evening," the French sound is alluded to, particularly in a remarkable passage where the C major dance rhythm is interrupted by an insistent D flat pedal tone. "Forbi" (Gone) is subtitled "In Memoriam," specifically to whom is apparently not a matter of record. However several of Grieg's closet confederates died in 1900 - 1901, including his publisher Max Abraham, composer and close friend J.P.E. Hartmann, Grieg's brother John, and his father-in-law Herman Hagerup. Clearly expressive of deep sorrow, "In Memoriam" is scored in E minor, and it is one of the most chromatic and harmonically unpredictable of all Grieg's works. In this piece the listener experiences a mood hinted at in several of Grieg's letters of this time: "It is as if this beautiful old word 'saga' acquires a new and deeper meaning for me as my own life belongs more and more to the past. Soon everything will be saga, saga!" "Efterklang" (Remembrances) is a wistful and simple waltz that paraphrases the melody of the Op. 12, No. 1 "Arietta," the first of the Lyric Pieces. With this Grieg brings his Lyric piano cycle full circle, and to its close.
Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/lyric-pieces-7-for-piano-book-10-op-71-mc0002361111).
Although originally written for Piano, I created this Interpretation of "Småtroll" (Puck) from Lyric Pieces (Book X Op. 71 No. 3) for Woodwind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).