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Gerard Willems

Morning Mood - Solo Piano Music of Edvard Grieg

Dual ARIA Award-winning Australian pianist Gerard Willems returns to the ABC’s recording studios for a historic Norwegian encounter.

Reuniting with Australia’s revolutionary Stuart & Sons pianos, Willems has recorded over two hours of solo piano music composed by Norway’s greatest composer, Edvard Grieg, for ABC Classics — a double album entitled Morning Mood.

This album (also available as a Deluxe Edition — see below) features some of Grieg's best-loved piano works, including the complete Holberg Suite, highlights from Peer Gynt, and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. Reaching from Grieg's student days as a teenager at the Leipzig Conservatorium to his final years in the tranquility of his country retreat, this landmark collection traces in music the life of a true master of the piano.

Willems, who rose to international fame through his multi-award-winning Beethoven recordings for ABC Classics, says much of Grieg’s solo piano music has been neglected in the concert halls and recording studios for too long: “Grieg wrote exquisite miniature masterpieces for the instrument he loved — the piano. They evoke nostalgia, joy, longing, heartache and beauty.”



A fascinating documentary exploring the unusual relationship that developed between Norway’s greatest composer, Edvard Grieg, and Australia’s wunderkind pianist, Percy Grainger, told in their own words.

“I missed … the marvellous Percy Grainger, who turned pages for me at the concert and whom I love as if he were a young woman” – Edvard Grieg, Thursday 24 May 1906


Click here to browse letters between Grieg and Grainger, Grieg’s diary, photos, and credits and music listings for the podcast

This podcast and the Grieg recording project is sponsored by Viking Cruises.



Morning Mood is available as a deluxe edition including Edvard Grieg: Little Great Man, a new book exploring the extraordinary life and work of Norway's greatest composer.

Edvard Grieg: Little Great Man is also available for download as an enhanced eBook that includes videos, photos — and audio of Grieg playing his own music.

Order the standard CD set here

Order the deluxe edition here

Download the interactive eBook here

Download the Kindle version here


Watch Gerard Willems perform Morning Mood

Watch Gerard Willems perform Puck


Gerard Willems introduces the recording project







1-5 From Holberg’s Time – Suite

6 The First Meeting

7 Solveig’s Song

8 Longing

9 The Lad and the Lass in the Cow-Shed Loft

10 Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak

11-16 Six Poetic Tone Pictures  

17 Album Leaf No. 3      

18 A Mother’s Grief       

19 I Love Thee

20 Resignation

21 Cradle Song

22 Mountaineer’s Song

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1   

23 I. Morning Mood       

24 II. The Death of Åse 

25 III. Anitra’s Dance      

26 IV. In the Hall of the Mountain King  


CD2 Lyric Pieces              

1 Arietta             

2 Watchman’s Song       

3 Elves’ Dance  

4 Norwegian     

5 Berceuse             

6 Butterfly         

7 Lonely Wanderer

8 In My Homeland         

9 Little Bird        

10 To Spring      

11 Album Leaf

12 Melody

13 Halling           

14 Elegy              

15 March of the Trolls   

16 Nocturne

17 Bell Ringing

18 Homesickness            

19 French Serenade       

20 Phantom

21 Peasant Song

22 Wedding Day at Troldhaugen              

23 Grandmother’s Minuet

24 Evening in the Mountains

25 Once upon a Time    

26 Puck

27 Gone              

28 Remembrances


Gerard Willems - Stuart & Sons piano

Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.