Norwegian composer, Edward Grieg, wrote his piano suite, From Holberg's Time, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the playwright, Ludwig Holberg. Holberg is revered by both Norwegians and Danes as one of the founders of their literature. Known as the "Molière of the North," Holberg wrote classic comedies such as Masquerade, which was turned into an opera in 1906 by Grieg's younger contemporary, Carl Nielsen.
Grieg gave his first performance of the piano work in Bergen, Norway in December 1884. The following year he transcribed the work for string orchestra, which is how it is known today. The work is based on the musical style of Holberg's own time. Grieg based each of the five movements on the dance forms found in the suites of Bach and his contemporaries. Though the forms used in these pieces are clearly reminiscent of the Baroque era, the spirit and lyricism is truly Grieg's own. The suite opens with a joyful prelude, which is followed by a series of dances: a slow Sarabande, a medium-fast Gavotte (with the traditional bagpipe-drone Musette at its center), a melodious Air and a vigorous Rigaudon."
Complete recording by Chris Breemer
Holberg Suite Op.40 - An Frau Erika Lie-Nissen
Recorded in april, 2009