Presented at the Grieg Conference in Berlin May 14, 2009
Reidar Bakke, Norway
Associate professor, Department of Music
Norwegian University for Science and Technology
GRIEG – A GREAT CHORAL COMPOSER
Over the course of his career as a composer, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) penned quite a few choral works. Grieg knew how to write for choirs, as the human voice was a medium he had a good command of not only as a composer, but also as a conductor. During his career he was the musical director of several choirs, and his experiences as a conductor gave him a strong practical knowledge of the range and capacity of the human voice. In writing for choirs he also learnt quite a lot from the pieces he composed for solo voice. Not least the close relation to his wife Nina and her performances of his songs gave him a very good insight into writing for voices. His choral compositions are clearly idiomatically written. To choirs of a certain standard his songs are easy to perform, and they also appeal to a broad spectrum of audience types, which means that many of his choral compositions have become very popular.
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Paper Reidar Bakke 2009