Grieg – Two Elegiac Melodies

by Max Derrickson

Edvard Hagerup Grieg   (b Bergen, June 15, 1843; Bergen September 4, 1907)

Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34
1. Heart’s Wounds (Allegretto espressivo)
2. The Last Spring (Andante)


Grieg was born in June of 1843 and died in September of 1903 inBergen,Norway. He spent almost his entire life in residence there. He is considered the greatest Romantic Nationalist composer of Norway. His first great success as a composer was his incidental music to Henry Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. The French composer Claude Debussy, the leading composer of the Impressionist era, was very familiar with Grieg’s compositions, and some scholars cite Grieg’s later works as introducing the Impressionist elements which inspired Debussy.

[. . .]

Grieg said that he enjoyed writing for strings more than he did for full orchestra. In 1881, he transcribed Two Elegiac Melodies from two songs of a set he had published a year before. The songs were written on poems by the Norwegian poet A. O. Vinje.

These two beautiful pieces linger a bit hauntingly on the mind. [. . .]