Classical Music | Piano Music

Edvard Grieg

In the Hall of the Mountain King, from Peer Gynt Suite  Play

McKeever Piano Duo Piano

Recorded on 10/31/2009, uploaded on 10/31/2009

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Edvard Grieg’s two Peer Gynt Suites contain some of the most recognizable and well-known orchestral compositions in the literature, among their collective eight movements being the famous Morning Mood and In the Hall of Mountain King. The music of these two suites Grieg originally composed as part of his incidental music for Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play of the same name, and was published as his opus 23. The music, along with the play, was premiered on February 24, 1876. Over a decade later, in 1888 and 1891, Grieg selected eight numbers from opus 23 to make the two four-movement suites. The first has become widely popular since its appearance and a staple of the orchestral repertoire, as well as frequently appearing in popular culture.

Ibsen’s play tells the story of Peer Gynt, son of the infamous Jon Gynt who squandered all his money on a lavish lifestyle. Despite his mother’s hopes, Peer is no different. During the course of the play’s five acts, he kidnaps a bride on her wedding day, runs off with another woman, ventures into the hall of a troll king, travels as far as Morocco and Egypt, engages in slave trade, impersonates a prophet while attempting to seduce an Arab chieftain’s daughter only to be swindled by her later, and then finds himself in a madhouse where he believes himself an emperor. Old and bankrupt, Peer returns to Norway where he is confronted with the vagabond life he has led. Though today Peer Gynt is one of the most often performed Norwegian plays, its reception after its premiere was mixed. The initial first edition published in 1876 was quickly sold out, but an immediate reprint of two thousand copies took seven years to sell. Furthermore, while praised by some, it was also heavily criticized by such notable authors as Hans Christian Andersen and Georg Brandes.

Grieg’s music aptly matches the mood of Ibsen’s play. Of the original twenty-eight numbers, Grieg selected for the first suite, published as opus 46, Morning Mood, The Death of Åse, Anitra’s Dance, and In the Hall of the Mountain King. The second suite, opus 55, contains the movements The Abduction of the Bride—Ingrid’s Lament, Arabian Dance, Peer Gynt’s Homecoming, and Solveig’s Song.         Joseph DuBose

Listeners' Comments        (You have to be logged in to leave comments)

Very sneaky. This is on thing I think they ruined with a remix. Edvard Grieg you were a genius! :D

Submitted by Lyn Harkeran on Fri, 12/17/2010 - 21:12. Report abuse

I really like this. Edvard I like you!

Submitted by starfox (not verified) on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 09:11. Report abuse