Over the centuries, a number of composers possessed a particularly distinct flair for writing universally recognisable melodies. Norwegian romantic composer Edvard Grieg arguably is one of them. It was violinist Ole Bull who not only advised Grieg’s parents to send the 15-year old Edvard to the renowned Leipzig Conservatory, but who upon his return also roamed the unspoiled landscapes of western Norway with him, thus enabling Grieg to truly get to know Norwegian folk music and to help him develop his own musical language. Grieg later said: “Ole Bull was my guardian angel. He opened my eyes to the beauty and originality of Norwegian music.
Thanks to him, I got to know a lot of forgotten folk songs and, above all, I became aware of my own nature.” Being inspired by Norwegian folk music helped Grieg to become the most important Norwegian composer of his generation and gave Norwegian music a place in the standard classical repertoire. Among Grieg’s most popular works are his incidental music to Peer Gynt, commissioned from the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and his arrangements of Norwegian dances and songs. This release in PENTATONE’s REMASTERED CLASSICS series combines these wonderful works, recorded in the 1970s by the English Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Raymond Leppard.