Spotlight on Grieg: To Spring - Entrada

April 6, 2022

Spotlight on Grieg: To Spring

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Now that spring has “sprung,” it seems appropriate to revisit Grieg’s To Spring. 

This past fall, I became somewhat obsessed with Grieg’s To Spring and soon recorded a performance and tutorial. With April upon us, I’m pleased to shine the spotlight on it again, in the correct season! 

Some of the topics covered in this masterclass include the “ebb and flow” rubato and proportional accelerando and ritardando that I believe Grieg has indicated–not only through his expressive markings but also with hairpins (<  >). explore the musical sensibility of accompanying and opera conducting that seems inherent in this piece. 

Technically, To Spring is filled with challenges, including the three-dimensional shaping of repeated chords and arpeggios, as well as controlling and voicing orchestral forces written on three staves. My conception follows the marked Allegro appassionato and is close in tempo and spirit to Zoltán Kocsis’s famous recording and, it turns out, to Grieg’s own (his 1903 recording is on YouTube). So we’ve cataloged it as “early advanced” at Entrada, although much slower recordings exist (including by Richter and Lang Lang) that demonstrate that To Spring can be played well by intermediate pianists.

I hope you enjoy exploring To Spring, and that it brings you pleasure and a window into Grieg’s expressive world that conveys such great imagination and color.

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