Sir Mark Elder conducts Grieg's Peer Gynt
- Edvard Grieg Peer Gynt suite no. 1
- Frederick Delius The song of the high hills
- Ralph Vaughan Williams Toward the unknown region
Grieg's music to Peer Gynt immediately evokes images of Norwegian natural beauty. In the second half of the concert, Briton Mark Elder and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra bring to life the central English hill country.
Grieg's Peer Gynt
Actually, Grieg had no desire at all to compose music to Ibsen's play about the adventures of a cruel peasant. That he could turn the nasty Peer Gynt into something so beautiful proves Grieg's genius. Instead of the main character, Grieg took inspiration from the environment in which the play takes place. That Norwegian nature lease comes to life phenomenally. After all, when watching a beautiful sunrise, how many will hear Grieg's Morgenstimmung from Peer Gynt in their heads?
British conductor Sir Mark Elder has been chief conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from Manchester for more than twenty years. Before that he was musical director of the English National Opera, among other things. Together with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor, Elder brings the hilly landscape of central England to life in Delius' A Song of the High Hills. Exactly what they look like is up to you: the choral part has no text but is "vocalized. Vaughan Williams did use text as the basis for his Toward the Unknown Region. The humanist texts of American poet Walt Witman inspired Vaughan Williams to one of his first great successes.