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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.”
NEW PODCAST: WHEN EDVARD MET PERCY
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
This podcast and the Grieg recording project is sponsored by Viking Cruises.
DELUXE EDITION and eBOOK
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.
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
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
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
2 Watchman’s Song
3 Elves’ Dance
7 Lonely Wanderer
8 In My Homeland
9 Little Bird
10 To Spring
11 Album Leaf
15 March of the Trolls
17 Bell Ringing
19 French Serenade
21 Peasant Song
22 Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
23 Grandmother’s Minuet
24 Evening in the Mountains
25 Once upon a Time
Gerard Willems - Stuart & Sons piano