Grieg' suite n°1 from Peer Gynt includes:
- Morning mood at 0'
- The death of Ase at 4'25
- Anitra's dance at 9'00
- In the hall of the Moutain King at 12'25 (this one is still a work in progress, an awful "cut and paste" from 3 takes with plenty of wrong notes).
Ibsen asked Grieg to write incidental music for his drama Peer Gynt. Then, Grieg re-used some of these pieces to make two orchestral suites which are now among his most famous compositions.
In Ibsens drama, the Peer Gynt guy is a very bad boy, a serial liar, dishonest, thieving, violent, skirt chaser, etc. ; in one word the perfect mother-in -law's nightmare.
Morning mood takes place when Peer Gynt is in Morocco'desert. But the music evokes more a gorgeous sunrise in Norway. Grieg is reputed to have said "At the first forte (here from 1'10 to 1'25) , I imagine the sun coming out from behind the clouds " .
The death of Ase is a sorrowful piece. Ase was Peer's mother and died form sorrow because of her son's behaviour.
Anitra' dance occurs when, somewhere in North Africa, Peer Gynt is invited by a cheik who takes him for a (false) prophet. Anitra is a slave and dances to seduce Peer. Later, she will steal him all his money (well done, Anitra !).
All those who have seen Fritz Lang's movie "M. le maudit" cannot forget the tune of "in the hall of the Mountain King". This time, Peer Gynt has seduced the daughter of the legendary Mountain King, in Norway. The music first depicts him entering cautiously into the king's hall, under the moutain. Then, the dwarwes and trolls see him and chase him. Tha pandemonium goes crescendo. On the repeated chords at 1'40 and after, the trolls shout "Kill him" . The two fast cadenzas at 1'42 and 1'46 depict Peer escaping in the darkness.
The transcription is a personal mix of transcriptions made by Lemare, Harvey Gaul, Michael Brockschmidt (Butz) and Christopher Eva (Oxford University Press).