Holberg Suite Op.40
Edvard Grieg

128

Listen to this piece at composed.com now

Grieg has 4 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame, the same amount as Saint-Saëns, Bruch and Karl Jenkins, and this is his second. It's featured in every chart and peaked at number 124 in 2000.

Grieg's From Holberg's Time Suite in the Olden Style, now always referred to as the Holberg Suite, eschews the Romantic conventions of its day, instead harking back to the classical-era playwright Ludvig Holberg, who, like Grieg, was born in the city of Bergen.

Composed to mark the 200th anniversary of Holberg's birth, the work opens with a sprightly, energetic 'Praeludium', followed by a more introspective 'Sarabande', a rather polite 'Gavotte', a stately 'Air' and, finally, a boisterous 'Rigaudon'. It was originally composed for piano an instrument in front of which Grieg was always at home but was later turned into an orchestral suite by the composer. It's this arrangement that is by far the most often heard today.

A statue of Ludvig Holberg, by Johan Borjeson, about whom the Holberg Suite was composed.