Bridget Mermikides arranges and transcribes for classical guitar this beautiful piece from Grieg’s much celebrated Peer Gynt Suite.
This month we return to the work of the Norwegian Romantic composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). Grieg adopted many Norwegian folk music elements and blended them with the prevailing 19th century style, and as such is an excellent example of a ‘nationalistic’ composer. He also happens to be one of the first composers to have their work recorded in their lifetimes, and in fact archive audio recordings exist of him playing the piano.
The folk elements in Grieg’s music give it a very lyrical and rustic quality. It’s also highly programmatic and accessible, which explains its extensive use in TV and film. Here I’ve arranged a piece from Grieg’s incidental music composed from 1874-76 for Henrik Ibsen’s play, Peer Gynt.
Solveig’s Song is from Act IV of the play, and the last piece of the Peer Gynt Suite No.2 – a set of
I’ve transposed the piece from the original key of A minor down a 4th to E minor, so it sits better on the guitar.
instrumental works drawn from the incidental music to work as independent – and hugely popular – concert material. In the lyrics, the character Solveig sings about her lover, Peer Gynt – who has abandoned her – and declares that she will wait for him and be reunited, even if only in heaven. The melancholy nature of the lyrics is echoed in the beautiful melody built mainly on a minor scale.
I’ve transposed the piece from the original
Edvard Greig in an 1888 London photo portrait