Hey, there are songs in Clas­si­cal Mu­sic, too! Maybe you think you don’t like that stuff? Stick around and give this one a lis­ten. This Song is the last move­ment of Peer Gynt Suite #2 by Nor­we­gian com­pos­er Ed­vard Grieg, dat­ing from 1876. It’s ex­cep­tion­al­ly beau­ti­ful, one of the great melodies of all time. I en­coun­tered it some decades ago, when my cel­lo teach­er as­signed it to me, and it works well on that in­stru­men­t. I loved play­ing it and now I love lis­ten­ing to it.

It turns out there are a lot of ways to per­form this; while I men­tioned cel­lo, it’s of­ten played as a piece for or­ches­tra; the ver­sion I hap­pen to have is from a 1989 Kara­jan/BPO out­ing and it’s love­ly, but I’m not go­ing to claim that it’s defini­tive, I’ve seen rave re­views of Beecham’s 1957 (!) record­ing, and I en­joyed lis­ten­ing to four dif­fer­ent takes on Spo­ti­fy; if you’ve got some ex­tra min­utes, you might want to do that and mar­vel at the huge dif­fer­ences fol­low­ing on small changes in tem­po and bal­ance. In this piece, a lot de­pends on get­ting a big-but-soft sound out of your vi­o­lin sec­tion­s.

But it’s not just an or­ches­tral piece, it’s a song too; see be­low.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · I al­ready cov­ered Spo­ti­fy; you can get the Kara­jan ver­sion I have from iTunes or Ama­zon. Now, as for live-video links… pull up a com­fy chair, sit down, and take in this per­for­mance by Sis­sel Kyrkjebø from Nor­we­gian TV. I’d nev­er heard of Ms Kyrkjebø, gen­er­al­ly just called Sis­sel, be­fore this. The video and au­dio are a lit­tle out of sync in this per­for­mance, but oh my good­ness gra­cious, here is a wom­an who has her mo­jo work­ing and knows it. Awe­some.


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From: Ianjs (Jan 07 2018, at 01:32)

Wow. Thanks for that. That was stunning.

I have been listening to the Peer Gynt Suite since I was a kid but they were always the orchestral arrangements and (believe it or not) it never occurred to me that Solveig's Song was an actual song.

Hearing that familiar, haunting melody sung so beautifully brought a tear to my eye.


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January 07, 2018
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