Grieg, Edvard. (1843-1907) [Röntgen, Julius. (1855 - 1932)]

Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances), op. 72 - SIGNED AND INSCRIBED TO JULIUS RONTGEN

Leipzig: C. F. Peters. [1903]. Important copy of the beloved Norwegian composer's Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) for piano, op. 72, signed and inscribed by Grieg on the title page to the German-Dutch composer and pianist Julius Röntgen. He has penned in Danish: "Til min kjaere Julius Röntgen med Tak for de "Stråler" og til Erindring om Frue Haagen fra din Edvard Grieg" ("To my dear Julius Röntgen with thanks for the sunshine and in remembrance of Mrs. Haagen, yours, Edvard Grieg") and dated July 27, 1905. Light performance markings in pencil throughout, likely in Röntgen's hand, as well as various notes in pencil on the wrappers. 53 pp. [PN] 8918. Original wrappers unfortunately detached, with tears and heavy wear; disbound, pages grouped in intact signatures; some toning, but internally in fine condition and overall good.

Grieg's Norwegian Peasant Dances resulted from a collaboration with the Hardanger-fiddle player Knut Dale and the violinist Johann Halvorsen. On the suggestion of Dale, who feared that the unwritten tradition of his instrument would be lost without being notated, Grieg asked Halvorsen to transcribe some of Dale's best fiddle tunes. Grieg then arranged these for piano, and both the violin and piano versions were published. Grieg wrote that he found the project "interesting, but but extremely difficult work," as expressing the folk idiom of the Hardanger fiddle through the medium of the piano presented unique problems, but writes in the introduction that "Those who can appreciate such music, will be delighted at the originality, the blending of fine, soft gracefulness with sturdy almost uncouth power and untamed wildness as regards melody and more particularly rhythm, contained in them."

The German-Dutch composer and pianist Julius Röntgen studied with Reinecke and Lachner and was a close associate of Grainger, Brahms, Grieg, Joachim, Nielsen and others. He spent many of his summer holidays in Denmark and maintained close friendships there. This score was likely gifted by Grieg to Röntgen after a stay at his Danish country house, Fuglsang, where Röntgen enjoyed hosting other musicians for long stays of swimming, boating, and chamber music.

A fine inscription from the Romantic Norwegian composer most celebrated for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures, Lyric Pieces.  (12003)

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