Lyric Pieces, Book V, Op. 54, No. 1-6 (Grieg), 10.11

This collection of musical works called Lyric Pieces, Op. 54 (orch. February 2006) is an orchestration of one of his six piano pieces by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg from Book V of his Lyric Pieces, Op. 54.  In 1894, Grieg arranged some of these pieces from his solo piano pieces to be orchestrated by New York Philharmonic conductor Anton Siedl who orchestrated 4 of the 6 and bestowed on them the dubious title “Norwegian Suite“.  Those that he orchestrated from the 6-set collection were:

2.  Norwegian March
3.  March of the Dwarfs
4.  Notturno
6.  Bell-Ringing 

However, Grieg wrote to Siedl’s widow in 1898 after the maestro’s death expressing his disappointment and dissatisfaction in his orchestrations, as he was a friend of Richard Wagner and had conducted the first copy of Der Ring des Nibelungen and who’s orchestrations were presumably too heavy and thick for the leaner and lighter Grieg’s musical tastes.  Grieg revised the orchestrations (including No. 6 Bell-Ringing) and called it Lyric Suite but changed the order (swamping #3 and #4) and included No. 1 “Shepard Boy” at the beginning and discarded No. 6 “Bell-Ringing” altogether.  Thus the Lyric Suite has been performed several times by numerous conductors.   

In 1899, Grieg orchestrated two of the pieces from Book IX, Op. 68.  No. 4 “Evening in the Mountains” was set for oboe, horns and strings and No. 5 “At the Cradle” was set for strings alone.

This orchestration with the modern orchestra, is rearranged with careful precision as to the original piano works and tastes of Grieg’s lighter, preferred stylistic preferences and common orchestrational patterns.  All the movements 1-6 are orchestrated in this fully complete suite of Lyric Pieces.