Classical Music | Piano Music

Edvard Grieg

Ballade in G Minor, Op. 24  Play

Samuel Deason Piano

Recorded on 08/31/2016, uploaded on 04/08/2017

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Grieg composed the Ballade shortly after the death of both parents in 1875.  He poured so much emotion into the piece that, according to his friend, Iver Holter who witnessed his private performance, Grieg was covered in sweat and unable to speak for a long time after. It is understandable then that he never performed his Ballade in public, but it was championed by pianists such as Rachmaninoff, Godowsky, Rubinstein, and Bolet to name a few.

Grieg’s Ballade is anomalous not only in its unusual length compared to his other compositions for piano, or for its fusion of the Ballade and Variation genres, but also for its harmonic and chromatic complexity. The theme, taken from a simple folksong “The Northland Peasantry” is pushed to the limits of reharmonization over a descending chromatic bass line. Perhaps a quote by Grieg himself describes his Ballade most accurately: “The realm of harmony has always been my dream world... I have understood that the secret depth one finds in our folksongs is basically owing to the richness of their untold harmonic possibilities.”      Samuel Deason