Wednesday, 1 February 2017


Edvard Grieg
There is something to be said of simplicity – at least, according to 19th century Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg – whose ever so humble quote on composing for the common man reads like a subliminal - yet resounding - endorsement for the quest to unearth the majestic powers of awe inspiring music from the most modest of plains:

"Artists like Bach and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights. I only wanted to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home."

-Edvard Grieg.

Never did Grieg’s sentiment ring so true as with the creation of the composer’s Piano Concerto in A Minor – written in 1868 at the tender age of twenty-five, the work would prove pivotal to the young Norwegian’s legacy in the realm of Western Classical Music: chiefly, it would mark the first – and only – time Grieg would pen a concerto, and would be the very first composition of the composer to make use of an orchestra. Grieg’s humble first steps into these yet uncharted waters would be met with a tidal wave of critical esteem and praise – solidifying the composer’s rightful placehold within the musical sphere – seated at it’s very apex – wherein even the humble and the meek could reign on high – even next to maestros Beethoven and Bach.

Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor remains to date one of the composer’s most famous and revered works (in particular the allegro molto moderato), and is lauded as a recital favorite for pre-eminent pianists across the globe.

Did You Know? 

In 2014, it was revealed in the press that Grieg’s famous Piano concerto in A minor was actively being used by politicians in Germany as a means of fortifying and preserving the sanctity of meeting rooms in the Western European nation from potential American “spies” (the NSA) who might have been seeking to eavesdrop on the political gatherings and obtain information sensitive to the country.

According to the German news periodical Suddeutsche Zeitung, the use of classical music – in particular Grieg’s concerto – playing in the background during the MP's powwow sessions, served not only to distract the potential listener, but more importantly, to drown out the voices of the politicians themselves, thereby adding an extra layer of protection to the confidential discussion of sensitive information. A source in the know revealed to the paper in 2014 that “…the committee chairman, Patrick Sensburg switched the music on…Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor. Just to be safe."

To learn more about this fascinating security tactic by the Germans, click the relevant link below:

  • "Germany's plan to take on NSA: Block eavesdroppers with classical music..." at The Telegraph (UK)

Enjoy below the stunning Adagio (movement II) from Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor (Op. 16):


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