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#1449583 - 06/03/10 04:02 PM Grieg's Ballade op.24
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
I play this beautiful and original piece quite often, a staple in the rep. so to speak, yet I always seem to have trouble convincing people to like it as much as I do, and I'm sure it's not my fault, however arrogant that might seem...What are your opinions about the piece?
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Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449593 - 06/03/10 04:13 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19583
Loc: New York City
It's not a staple of the repertoire IMO. I might have heard it once(Earl Wild or Bolet all Ballade program?) in 40 years of recital going and it's almost never on recital programs in NYC(even the ones I don't go to).

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#1449598 - 06/03/10 04:18 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: pianoloverus]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
it's a staple in My rep that is, and, like you, I've never or hardly heard it in concert, Godowski's recording is good, and actually the only one I really like, this isn't about an obscure piece, is it?
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449604 - 06/03/10 04:22 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
It's tucked away in my library, but not yet in my repertoire. It's one of those odd pieces, always been played by the greats like Godowsky (breathtaking btw), Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, Merzhanov.. but never really "caught on" outside Scandinavia. I hope that people continue to program it, because there's nothing else like it.

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#1449612 - 06/03/10 04:27 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: jeffreyjones]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
Even Brahms liked it, well, I just will go on confronting people outside Scandinavia with it, too bad for ones repeutation, haha
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449640 - 06/03/10 05:01 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
MarkH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 867
Loc: Seattle, WA
I absolutely love it! As I've become more and more familiar with the standard and non-standard repertoire, the number of new pieces I find that really excite me has of course decreased. The Grieg Ballade is one of the few new discoveries within the past couple of years that has really possessed me. I got the complete Grieg solo piano works recorded by Einar Steen-Nokleberg, and I actually prefer his version of the Ballade to Godowsky's. Their interpretations of the more fiery sections are similar, but Einar's slow sections seem deeper to me.

Dolce, as someone who has performed it regularly, what are your thoughts on the piece from a performer's perspective? Does it lie well under the hands? Are the patterns idiomatic? How do you find its difficulty compares to something like Chopin's 1st Ballade?

Jeffrey, where did you see reference to Rachmaninoff playing the Grieg Ballade? It's really a shame he didn't record it. IMO his version would be even more interesting the great one by Godowsky.

In case anyone is interested, I did a quick search for information about it, and I found a doctoral thesis analyzing Grieg's use of variation technique in the Op. 24 Ballade and Old Norwegian Melody with Variations for two pianos Op. 51. In addition to the analysis, it gives the background on the piece's composition: http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Sagona_Amalia.pdf?osu1257892076
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Currently Studying: Debussy - Pagodes; Alkan - Cello Sonata 4th movement (duet transcription by Alkan); assorted Dvorak Slavonic Dances

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#1449644 - 06/03/10 05:03 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: MarkH]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Grieg's piano pieces are wonderful - but woefully underplayed. They always emotionally touch me, though, and that's a good thing. I've met plenty of people who can't stand Grieg, though. For me - he's a very personal pianist, capable of evoking a full orchestra at the piano as well,.

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#1449650 - 06/03/10 05:10 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: MarkH]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: MarkH
Jeffrey, where did you see reference to Rachmaninoff playing the Grieg Ballade? It's really a shame he didn't record it. IMO his version would be even more interesting the great one by Godowsky.


I'm not sure, but I think it was probably in Dubal's Art of the Piano that I read it was in his repertoire.. along with many other pieces he never recorded, like Liszt's "Dante" Sonata, Totentanz, Scriabin's Fifth Sonata, the "Appassionata"..

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#1449651 - 06/03/10 05:13 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: Mattardo]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
MarkH, it's a very pianistic piece, with al the obvious influences the young Edvard Hagerup was under, ie. Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, quite difficult in places, never tricky, some hard fingerwork,jumps,the works, but really rewarding, though no final banging..., very moody, and rather dark,and a good performance should avoid the lurking danger of repetitiousness, it's nearly 20 minutes of sheer joy, with a very melancholic undertoe, a masterpiece in my humble opinion, and very worthwhile playing!
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449689 - 06/03/10 06:06 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Even Brahms liked it, well, I just will go on confronting people outside Scandinavia with it, too bad for ones repeutation, haha


That's the spirit. I enjoy the piece but have only recently been aware of it. A forum member had recommended Leif Ove Andsnes playing, so I purchased a CD and this was on it.
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#1449693 - 06/03/10 06:12 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: Damon]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
Did you like L.O.Andsnes's recording?
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449705 - 06/03/10 06:35 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Did you like L.O.Andsnes's recording?


Yes, I do. I have nothing with which to compare it (it is my only recording of the Ballade), but I like the whole album which included the Concerto and a smattering of familiar lyric pieces. All very well done.
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It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1449715 - 06/03/10 06:49 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: Damon]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
I saw this documentary on tv, about Grieg, L.O.A. played a big role in it, he ended up high on a snowy mountain, grand piano and all, playing, I don't remember, maybe Hochzeitstag in Troldhaugen or so, quite unintendedly hilarious, and talked a lot about the Ballade, there was obviously no time to perform it there and then.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449718 - 06/03/10 06:55 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
I saw this documentary on tv, about Grieg, L.O.A. played a big role in it, he ended up high on a snowy mountain, grand piano and all, playing, I don't remember, maybe Hochzeitstag in Troldhaugen or so, quite unintendedly hilarious, and talked a lot about the Ballade, there was obviously no time to perform it there and then.


I was thinking of bringing that up.. it's called Ballade for Edvard Grieg and it's on DVD..

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#1449721 - 06/03/10 07:00 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: jeffreyjones]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
talking about ballades, I see that you're taking on Chopin's op.23, how are you doing, and what is your major trouble, mine is the little run upwards towards the scherzando-section, and some of the octaves in the first big-tune 2nd theme...
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1449738 - 06/03/10 07:48 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
It's been a lifelong endeavor of mine. I started on it really young and I'm still learning. The tinkly/chordy parts are no longer the problem, but rather the pacing in the slower "heartbeat" sections..

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#1449894 - 06/04/10 01:28 AM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
BassoonyPianoKevn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 151
Loc: Maryland
I played this piece for a jury at school since I am a music minor last fall. The faculty on the jury told my teacher they had never heard that piece played by a student! I do enjoy playing the Ballade no matter how much stamina it takes. The piece has tricky quick passages along with beautiful chordal parts. You probably know which back to back variations I am thinking of dolce. It was quite a challenge to learn it, as I started in the summer and felt comfortable to perform it by December. It was worth it.

I suspect that people may not like as much as you and I is that it is not the easiest piece to get into on the first few listens. My own introduction to the piece was with the Godowsky recording. I had a hard time the first few times even staying involved listening to the piece. Eventually, I came around. Grieg is one my favorite composers and I had already learned the Sonata and some of the lyric pieces so the next big piece to learn was the Ballade which I'm happy to say I did.

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#1449958 - 06/04/10 04:57 AM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: Damon]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7976
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Did you like L.O.Andsnes's recording?


Yes, I do. I have nothing with which to compare it (it is my only recording of the Ballade), but I like the whole album which included the Concerto and a smattering of familiar lyric pieces. All very well done.


I heard a broadcast of him playing it live, and it was riveting. He really knew how to shape the thing, which can be tricky.

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#1449970 - 06/04/10 07:01 AM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: wr]
btb Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi dolce,

Grieg Ballade Opus 24

Thanks for the lead ... having just downloaded the Ballade from IMSLP (with thanks) and played and recorded the first 8 plaintive measures ... there’s something about the serenity of Grieg’s music (nobody should need persuading of it’s superb quality) ... reminds of the rich isolation of a snow-bedecked fairyland (shades of learning how to ski just north of Oslo).

But something should be said of the polished neatness of a Grieg score ... by comparison beloved Chopin can be all over the place (presently on Sonata 3) ... IMHO Grieg’s innate feel for a watertight score (no loose ends) merits top dog status.

The possible weakness in his writing (looked at from a hot Italian viewpoint) might be due to the vibes of the prevailing loneliness of his sparsely populated fatherland.

Nogtans, weer baie dankie vir die leidraad ... ek is baie dankbaar ... alles van die beste.

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#1449974 - 06/04/10 07:43 AM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: btb]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
Originally Posted By: btb
Hi dolce,

Grieg Ballade Opus 24

Thanks for the lead ... having just downloaded the Ballade from IMSLP (with thanks) and played and recorded the first 8 plaintive measures ... there’s something about the serenity of Grieg’s music (nobody should need persuading of it’s superb quality) ... reminds of the rich isolation of a snow-bedecked fairyland (shades of learning how to ski just north of Oslo).

But something should be said of the polished neatness of a Grieg score ... by comparison beloved Chopin can be all over the place (presently on Sonata 3) ... IMHO Grieg’s innate feel for a watertight score (no loose ends) merits top dog status.

The possible weakness in his writing (looked at from a hot Italian viewpoint) might be due to the vibes of the prevailing loneliness of his sparsely populated fatherland.

Nogtans, weer baie dankie vir die leidraad ... ek is baie dankbaar ... alles van die beste. Graag gedaan, veel succes!
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1451964 - 06/07/10 02:06 PM Re: Grieg's Ballade op.24 [Re: dolce sfogato]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
I also love this piece, I had started working on it about a year and a half ago, had to put it down though. I loved every minute of it though! Hopely I will get a chance to work on it next year.

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