Lyric Pieces (includes Wedding Day at Troldhaugen)
Edvard Grieg

239

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Grieg has 4 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame — the same amount as Saint-Saëns, Bruch and Karl Jenkins — and this is his first.

When selections for the Classic FM Hall of Fame are made each year, we always subsume votes for particular sections of classical pieces into the larger work. So, opting for an individual aria means your vote counts towards the full opera, and if you were to choose a piano miniature that forms part of a larger set of pieces, your vote would be amalgamated into that set. In the case of Grieg's Lyric Pieces, while it's certainly true that we receive votes for a number of different compositions within the collection, the set's success is down to one particular tune: 'Wedding Day at Troldhaugen'. It's the sixth entry from Book 8 of Grieg's Lyric Pieces, and was written to commemorate the composer's own silver wedding anniversary. Grieg's summer villa, built just outside Bergen in 1885, was also called Troldhaugen, so this particular tune was evidently full of meaning for him.

The Wedding Dance in the Open Air by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1566).