This week you will be listening to a piano concerto written by the Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. Grieg lived from 1843-1907 during the musical period known as the Romantic period. Along with beautiful, lyric melodies, this period was known for its nationalism, which motivated composers to write music that reflected elements of their native countries. Grieg was Norwegian and we can hear in his music the rhythms, harmonies and even the folk stories of his beloved country. The Peer Gynt Suite is another great example of how his music uses Norwegian folk lore and rhythms.
A concerto is a composition written for a solo instrument (in this case the piano) accompanied by an orchestra. You will first hear an exciting drum roll followed by a stirring piano introduction. Next the theme is first played by the orchestra and then imitated in the piano. Sometimes the orchestra accompanies the piano and sometimes it is the other way around. Listen for the quick change of mood in this piece as it changes from lively and scherzo-like to a soaring cantabile melody. There are three movements to this concerto but the assignment is for only the first movement. If you are interested you can also listen to the second and third movements. The performer, Julia Fischer, is a professional violinist as well as a pianist.
I have also included in this post another concerto for a typewriter! You may not even know what a typewriter is as they are not in use any more but this orchestra and performer had some fun with the Typewriter Concerto. Enjoy!