Lyric Pieces II

Lyric Pieces II is scored for string quartet, piano, electronics, metronomes, and a gramophone player playing a 78 RPM record. The work is a kind of continuation of my Lyric Pieces for orchestra (2019). Some of the Lyric Pieces from the orchestral piece have been revisited, but in a completely new setting.

The electronics are partly based on Edvard Grieg’s recordings from 1903/1906 of some of his Lyric Pieces. In addition, field recordings that I have made myself are played back.

  1. Prologue – Arietta (strings, piano, metronome, electronics)
    The metronome on stage is mixed with fragments of Grieg’s Arietta and crackling recordings of the gramophone player.
  2. To Spring (strings, piano, electronics)
    A recording of Edvard Grieg is played. The string quartet accompanies, but the piano takes over and continues an ascending harmonic progression to the absurd. An edited version of Grieg’s piano playing is played towards the end.
  3. Berceuse (solo piano)
    Grieg’s Lyric Piece (Book II, Op. 38, No. 1) is played in its original form.
  4. Berceuse II (strings, piano, electronics)
    A recording of my daughter (3 years old when the recording was made) making her own melody with nonsense lyrics. The ensemble accompanies with a rearranged version of Grieg’s Berceuse.
  5. Bell Ringing (solo piano)
    Grieg’s Lyric Piece (Book V, Op. 54, No. 6) is played in its original form.
  6. Homesickness/Bell Ringing (strings, piano, electronics)
    Grieg’s Lyric Piece is mixed with field recordings from Torshovparken in Oslo. Recordings of church bells are played, the ensemble joins with bell-like instrumentation.
  7. Butterfly (strings, piano, electronics)
    The metronome on stage is mixed with pizzicato sounds and recordings of metronomes. Recording of Grieg is played (with metronome click). The ensemble accompanies.
  8. Notturno (solo piano)
    Grieg’s Lyric Piece (Book V, Op. 54, No. 4) is played in its original form.
  9. Notturno II (strings, piano)
    Bright and ethereal sounds from Violin I, Cello and Piano are contrasted by gently rocking melody lines in Violin II and Viola. The movement is partly based on “Nocturne” from my “Piano Trio” (2017), the melody lines are based on the accompaniment figure in Grieg’s Notturno.
  10. Norwegian March (electronics)
    A recording of Edvard Grieg is played.
  11. Norwegian March II (strings, piano, electronics)
    Grieg’s harmonies, and especially the constantly falling harmonic progressions, have been transformed into minimalistic chamber music. An always descending harmonic progression is played in the electronics.
  12. Summer’s Eve (strings, piano, electronics)
    Grieg’s Lyric Piece is played in its original form, mixed with field recordings from Fløenbakken, including recordings of the ice cream truck that uses Edvard Grieg’s Norwegian Dance No. 2 (Op. 35) as its jingle. The strings play a kind of stretched chorale.
  13. Piano Concerto (2nd Movement) (strings, piano, electronics, gramophone, metronomes)
    A record with the 2nd movement from Grieg’s Piano Concerto is played on the gramophone player. The strings accompany, but towards the climax the movement collapses into a cacophony of strange chords, fragments of recordings of Edvard Grieg, and a chaos of metronomes.
  14. Epilogue – Remembrances (strings, piano, electronics, gramophone, metronomes)
    The metronome chaos gradually thins out, the stretched chorale returns, and in the electronics you can glimpse Edvard Grieg playing his last lyrical piece, “Remembrances”.