Presented at the Grieg Conference in Copenhagen August 13, 2011
Amalia Sagona, Greece
Edvard Grieg and the Piano Variation Form. Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Melody, Op. 24, for Piano, and Old Norwegian Melody with Variations, Op. 51, for Two Pianos: An Interpretive Study of the Variation Procedure
Outside the numerous miniature forms that dominate Grieg’s piano output, there are two important essays in the variation form: the Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Melody, Op. 24 for piano (composed in 1875-76), and the Old Norwegian Melody (Romance) with Variations, Op. 51 for two pianos (composed in 1890). The variation form was particularly suited to Grieg’s skills as an arranger, because the form allows the composer to treat relatively brief material in a variety of ways. It is notable that both variation sets are based on Norwegian folk tunes. Moreover, Grieg’s music has the power to strongly portray a wide range of emotional content in very brief and concise settings, and the small-scale sections of variation form can very successfully embody Grieg’s picturesque miniature-structures.
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Paper Amalia Sagona 2011