Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was born in Bergen, Norway. As a talented young pianist of 15, he enrolled in the Leipzig Conservatory. In 1862, Grieg left the Conservatory and went to Copenhagen where he met composer Rikard Nordraak, who interested Grieg in Norwegian folksong as a source of musical material and inspiration. Grieg recognized the power and beauty inherent in his country's folk style and began to employ it constantly in his compositions. In 1869, Grieg played the world premier of his "Piano Concerto in A Minor" in Copenhagen and, at the age of twenty-five, he stablished himself as a major composer of his time. The Norwegian government granted him an annuity which enabled him to devote most of his time to composition. During his life, Grieg received many honors, including doctorates from Cambridge and Oxford and membership in the Institut de France. Despite his success, Grieg was of a retiring disposition and spent most of his time at his house in Troldhaugen, near Bergen, avoiding visitors and shunning public acclaim. Grieg's death in 1907 was mourned by all of Norway.
Grieg's entire creative life is exemplified by his sets of "Lyric Pieces" for piano. He composed ten sets of these pieces in thirty-four years, between 1867 and 1901. Grieg was at his best in short pieces, in which the perfection of form and the clarity of the musical line are remarkable. In Grieg's own words about his music, he stated "It is not for me to build lofty places and mighty cathedrals of music, but rather cottages, in which men may dwell and rest their hearts" . The melodic expressiveness and contagious dance rhythms found in the "Lyric Pieces" impart a charm and individuality which has contributed to the lasting success of these rewarding compositions.
A music book correlating to the selections on this recording is available from your favorite print music dealer. Please ask for "Selected Lyric Pieces" (GP393), Compiled and Edited by Keith Snell, Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Publisher.
Keith Snell, Producer
Pianist Diane Hidy made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991 after completing her studies with John Perry and Leon Fleisher. In 1987 Diane was the first woman to become a Fellow of the American Pianists Association and in 1982 was the winner of the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra s First Prize winner of the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Diane attended the Juilliard School of Music, and holds music degrees from the University of Southern California and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She spent her high school years in Seattle, Washington, where she was a student of Michiko Miyamoto.