Godowsky plays Grieg Ballade in G minor (1/2)





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Uploaded on Jul 8, 2011

Part II
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907): Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song, in G minor, op.24 (1875-1876)
Leopold Godowsky, piano
Recorded in 1929.
Paintings by Eilif Peterssen (Portrait of Grieg, 1891) and Edvard Munch (1863-1944)

Comments on my previous post:

Truly an instance of a great artist taking a composer's fine work and elevating it even further, by perfectly judged harmonic & textural subtlety combined with architectural awareness. Every moment intensely lived, Grieg's work becomes a towering masterpiece.

I believe Godowsky didn't elevate this work but simply came closer to Grieg's intent than almost any other recording artist. Grieg said he poured his heart and soul into this work. He immersed himself in composing it for consolation from crushing grief at the deaths of both of his parents not very long after the death of his 1 y o daughter and the still birth of his 2nd child. He never played it in public. His rare private performances left his listeners stunned and him completely drained.

Grieg's works tend to be under appreciated because, they often seem simple enough to be given somewhat pleasing performances by amateurs and artists who have no idea of their meaning. Indeed they are often used for piano student pieces. Weak health and stamina greatly reduced his output especially of larger works. Still his genius was recognized. His influence on Debussy, Ravel, Delius, Bartok, MacDowell, and others was far greater than most critics now recognize. ("Grieg is in all my works." Ravel)

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