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Free Classical Music Download!

Posted on: Apr 12, 2013 @ 8:35:39 am

Every two weeks, Alexander Street offers a free music download from our popular online music collection. This download is freely available, regardless of whether or not your library subscribes to the collection.

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was approached by dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1874 to compose incidental music for a staging of his five-act play Peer Gynt. Although Grieg had been laboring over an opera with Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson since 1873, he pursued the project, believing it would not distract him from his operatic endeavors. In the end, the opera was dropped and Grieg devoted his time to Peer Gynt, which would become some of his most popular music. Grieg completed the score in 1875 and the first performance took place on February 24, 1876.

The incidental music (music used for scene changes or dramatic effect in a stage work, not unlike today’s film soundtracks) consists of 26 vocal, choral, and instrumental movements. In 1888 Grieg extracted these four movements to construct the Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, op. 84 and would later extract four more movements for the Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, op. 55. The first and fourth movements in this suite are perhaps Grieg’s most well-known pieces. The first, “Morning Mood,” is the prelude to the fourth act of Ibsen’s play. The last movement, “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” appears in the second act of Peer Gynt as an orchestral and choral piece; Grieg arranged it in this suite for orchestra alone.

This recording is performed by Orquesta Filarmónica De La Ciudad de México under the direction of Fernando Lorenzo.



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