The following short audio clips were taken from a recording of our concert on the 30th of June 2018 at Frenchay Church, Bristol.
Conductor: Nicholas Bromilow
Leader: Lisa Orton
Edvard Grieg – Holberg Suite Op. 40
Praeludium (Allegro vivace)
Grieg’s great-grandfather Greig was a Scot who changed the spelling of his surname on emigrating to Norway in 1779. This lovely suite, “Fra Holbergs Tid” (“From Holberg’s time”), commemorated the bicentenary of the birth of Ludvig Holberg in 1684, Norway’s celebrated writer of social comedies à la Molière. Subtitled “Suite in olden style”, it is a sequence of pastiche courtly dances in a variety of moods and tempi.
Grieg became a great favourite in England, where he was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge University along with Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky in 1894. An early photograph shows his diminutive figure solemnly clad in doctoral cap and
Percy Grainger – “Molly on the Shore”
Australian Percy Grainger spent much of his life in Europe or the US. He achieved fame as a fine pianist as well as composer. Possessed of good looks, originality and great personal charm, he became firm friends with, among others, Delius and Grieg. His lighter compositions are inspired by folk music, of which he was an avid collector, but the fact that the jaunty “Country Gardens” became his best-loved piece rather annoyed him, since he had also written a quantity of serious music.
“Molly” is variations on an Irish reel. It contains quirky tempo indications such as “louden hugely bit by bit” instead of the conventional Italian “poco a poco cresc.”