Gerard Willems

Morning Mood: Solo Piano Music of Edvard Grieg

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Morning Mood: Solo Piano Music of Edvard Grieg is a double-CD collection of the Norwegian composer's most popular keyboard pieces, performed by Gerard Willems and released by ABC Classics. Packaged in a sturdy hardcover book with informative essays and biographical notes, the album consists of Fra Holbergs tid (From Holberg's Time), Op. 40, Six Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 3, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and selections from the ten books of Lyric Pieces, along with several miscellaneous character studies and miniatures, including Wedding Day at Troldhaugen. Willems is perhaps best known for his recordings of Beethoven's works, also on the ABC Classics label, so Grieg's late-Romantic music is a bit of a departure for him. Playing a Stuart & Sons piano (which he also played in his recorded cycle of Beethoven's sonatas), Willems gives calm and lucid interpretations that are nuanced and elegantly phrased, though he is also quite robust in many of the dances, emphasizing their rustic character. This is reputed to be the first Australian recording of Grieg's piano music by an Australian playing an Australian-made piano, so this collection is a source of national pride and a fine artistic achievement in its own right.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Fra Holbergs tid - Suite, Op. 40
1 02:57
2 03:00
3 03:06
4 05:40
5 04:20
Piano Pieces after Original Songs, Vol. II, Op. 52
6 03:12
7 03:46
23 Little Pieces, EG 104
8 01:32
Improvisations on Two Norwegian Folk Songs, Op. 29
9 02:55
10 05:53
Six Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 3
11 01:39
12 01:35
13 01:46
14 02:31
15 01:29
16 01:04
Album Leaves, Op. 28
17 03:11
Piano Pieces after Original Songs, Vol. II, Op. 52
18 03:14
Piano Pieces after Original Songs, Vol. I, Op. 41
19 03:30
Stemninger, Op. 73
20 01:41
Piano Pieces after Original Songs, Vol. I, Op. 41
21 02:37
Stemninger, Op. 73
22 04:00
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
23 03:34
24 04:01
25 03:25
26 02:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Book 1, Op. 12
1 01:22
2 03:27
3 00:54
4 01:03
Book 2, Op. 38
5 02:56
Book 3, Op. 43
6 01:52
7 02:12
8 02:20
9 01:47
10 02:50
Book 4, Op. 47
11 03:58
12 03:44
13 01:42
14 02:59
Book 5, Op. 54
15 03:19
16 03:51
17 03:47
Book 6, Op. 57
18 04:09
Book 7, Op. 62
19 02:59
20 02:21
Book 8, Op. 65
21 01:40
22 06:32
Book 9, Op. 68
23 02:19
24 02:45
Book 10, Op. 71
25 04:46
26 01:58
27 02:40
28 02:21
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