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Grieg Festival 2007

Laurent Beeckmans
Janvier 2008

Articles summary

The Grieg Festival 2007

The sponsors of the Grieg Festival 2007

The centenary of Grieg's death has been celebrated with dignity in Belgium with a serie of about twenty exceptionnal concerts showing the several facets of his output. They took place between the 4th September and the 16 December 2007. This page goes through the different concerts and the highlights of the Festival that was produced by Geyser Music Productions in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Maison de la Musique.

Homage concert
4th September 2007 at 13:25

Lunchtime concert of the European Commission
Music Room - 86 Rue de la Loi - 1040 Bruxelles - Métro Maelbeek
Reservation indispensable by MM. Rachel Stacchini (Tél. 02 296 55 74)

Sophie Boudailliez, soprano
Francis Mourey, cello
Laurent Beeckmans, piano

The 4th of September is the precise day of Grieg's death 100 years ago in Bergen. This lunch concert will be a particular homage for the Norwegian master, with a program of rare works taken in the 'alternative catalogue' of the composer, i.e. works without opus number, that were given 'EG' numbers after his death. Along with the tremendous Funeral march for Rikard Nordraak, that Grieg wanted to be performed at his own funeral, some rare and precious little masterworks will be heard, like the Intermezzo in a minor for cello and piano and Six Norwegian Mountain Melodies.

7 concerts of chamber music

Maison de la Musique
41 rue Edgard Sohie, 1560 Hoeilaart - Tél. 02/6579652 – 0475/434277

The cycle of 7 concerts at the Maison de la Musique will follow the chronological order of almost the whole Grieg's piano output for 2 and 4 hands. An amazing journey, from the first works in Schumann style until the enigmatic Moods op.73, along the 10 sets of the refined Lyrical Pieces. The three violin sonatas and the cello sonata will also be performed, as well as a large part of songs sung in the original language. To support the music, there will be a visual support showing photographs from Grieg's time and translation of the lyrics.

n°1 (1843-1866) – Saturday 15 September at 20

Six Poetic Tone-Pictures op.3 - Humoresques op.6 - Piano sonata op.7 - 1st violin sonata op.8 - Songs from op.2, op.4, op.5 and op.9
Sophie Boudailliez (soprano), Jean-Michel Alexandre (violin), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°2 (1867-1873) – Saturday 22 September at 20

Lyrical Pieces op.12 - 2nd violin sonata op.13 - Two symphonic pieces op.14 - Four romances op.15 - Norwegian dances and melodies op.17 - Aus dem Volksleben op.19 - Four songs op.21
Barbara Somers (soprano), Pierre Roland (violin), Alexandra Ectors (piano), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°3 (1874-1881) – Friday 28 September at 20

Ballade op.24 - Six Poems by Ibsen op.25 - Album Leaves op.28 - Improvisata op.29 - Songs on poems by Vinje op.33 - Norwegian dances op.35
Laurie Janssens (soprano), Kris De Witte (piano), Florian Noack (piano), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°4 (1882-1886) – Friday 5 October at 20

Cello sonata op.36 - Caprice-Waltzes op.37 - Lyrical Pieces op.38 and op.43 - Romances (old and new) op.39
Sophie Boudailliez (soprano), Francis Mourey (cello), Mamia Akhvlediani (piano), Jérôme Schlesser (piano), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°5 (1887-1891) – Friday 12 October at 20

Bergljot op.42 - 3rd violin sonata op.45 - Lyrical Pieces op.47 and op.54 - Six Lieder op.48
Amélie Hennecker (soprano), Joëlle Denys (speaker), Jean-Michel Alexandre (violin), Anna Cheveleva (piano), Bernadette Malter (piano), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°6 (1892-1896) – Saturday 20 October at 20

Lyrical Pieces op.57, op.62 and op.65 - 5 Poems by Vilhelm Krag op.60 - Symphonic dances op.64
Sandra Paelinck (soprano), André Roe (piano), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)

n°7 (1897-1907) – Friday 26 October at 20

Attention, the program of this concert has been changed! Lyrical Pieces op.68 and op.71 - Slåtter op.72 - Moods op.73 - Concerto in a minor op.16 (version for 2 pianos) - Laurent Beeckmans : Concerto in b minor after the fragments of an unfinished concerto by Edvard Grieg (version for 2 pianos)
Laurent Beeckmans (piano), Florian Noack (piano), André Roe (piano), Michel Wiggers (piano)

Eja Studiosi - Choir music
16 November 2007 at 20:00

Eglise Notre-Dame du Bon-Secours
91 Rue Marché-au-Charbon - 1000 Bruxelles

Choir Eja Studiosi conducted by Valéry Demaré

A discovery concert revealing Grieg as an outstanding composer of choral music. The Four Psalms for unaccompanied choir op.74 is the ultimate work and the only religious item in his opus list, beside the touching Ave, maris stella. As interlude to this pious works dating from the last creative period of Grieg, there will be some of the Chorals and Fugues for organ that Grieg wrote when he was still a student at the Leipzig Conservatory.

To complete the program, Eja Studiosi will also sing works by contemporary Norwegian composers such as Trond Kverno, Knut Nystedt and Ola Gjeilo. A rare and original concert not to miss!

Festival’s closing day at the Music School of Auderghem

Grieg unusual and unheard - Chamber music
24th November 2007 at 15:00

Auditorium of the Académie de Musique d'Auderghem
7 Rue des écoliers - 1160 Bruxelles - Tél. 02/6735498

Francis Mourey, cello
Alexandra Ectors, piano
Laurent Beeckmans, piano

An original program of works taken in the "alternative" catalogue of the composer : a movement of an unpublished piano trio, the 4-hands arrangement from the "forbidden symphony" and rare and precious little masterworks such as the Intermezzo for cello and piano and the Six Norwegian Mountains Melodies.

Geyser String Orchestra
24th November 2007 at 17:00

Auditorium of the Académie de Musique d'Auderghem
7 Rue des écoliers - 1160 Bruxelles - Tél. 02/6735498

Sophie Boudailliez, soprano
Geyser String Orchestra

Grieg has left an important repertoire for strings, a medium for which he paid a particular attention and mastered the writing. Beside the well-known Holberg Suite, written "in an older style", there are arrangements of Norwegian folk tunes (Two Norwegian melodies op.63) and new orchestrations of his own melodies (Two elegiac melodies op.34 and Two melodies op.53) as well as his Lyrical Pieces (At the cradle op.68). This concert will also give a little homage to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius that disappeared 50 years ago.

100 fingers for Edvard Grieg
24th November 2007 at 20:00

Auditorium of the Académie de Musique d'Auderghem
7 Rue des écoliers - 1160 Bruxelles - Tél. 02/6735498

A bunch of 10 pianists : Laurent Beeckmans, Marie Chardon, Anna Cheveleva, Bruno Crabbé, Alexandra Ectors, Lia Foti, Sabine Lawalrée, Bernadette Malter, Pierre Thomas et Sylvie Verhaeghe.

Fanfare Del Aca, brass ensemble conducted by Emile Schram

Ten pianists will gather around 2 pianos, so that 100 fingers will honour the centennial of Grieg's death. Grieg wrote only one original piece for two pianos, the Old Norwegian Romance with variations op.51, a large work in which he used all his imagination and his refinement to transcend a simple and beautiful tune from the Norwegian folk music called Sjugur og Trollbrura. But he also realised parts for a second piano aimed to "accompany" some Mozart's piano sonatas, a strange but interesting achievement in which Mozart's text remain unchanged.

This program will be completed by music by Johan Svendsen as well as the eccentric Percy Grainger, whose all arrangements of folk music are "lovingly and reverently dedicated to the memory of Edvard Grieg". Last but not least, this festive concert will be introduced and concluded by the brass ensemble Fanfare Del Aca that will perform the Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak and the Homage March from the scene music for Bjørnson's Sigurd Jorsalfar, which will put the final point to the festival.


Sonday 9th December, Saturday 15th December and Sunday 16th December 2007

De Rode Pomp - Ghent

9 concerts with the whole piano work for 2 and 4 hands, the chamber music and about 60 songs.

Sunday 9th December - GRIEG MARATHON DAY 1
Concert 1: Chamber music I (at 15:00)
Pierre Roland (violin), Francis Mourey (cello), Laurent Beeckmans (piano)
Concert 2: Lyrical Pieces I (at 17:00)
Alexandra Ectors, Laurent Beeckmans, Anna Cheveleva, Jérome Schlesser (piano)
Concert 3: Piano I (at 20:00)
Laurent Beeckmans, Pieter Dhoore, Alexandra Ectors, Jérome Schlesser (piano)

Saturday 15th December - GRIEG MARATHON DAY 2
Concert 4: Lyrical Pieces II (at 15:00)
Laurent Beeckmans, Kris De Witte, Kibo Kataoka (piano)
Concert 5: Songs I (at 17:00)
Sophie Boudailliez, Laurie Janssens, Barbara Somers (soprano), Laurent Beeckmans, Kris De Witte, Kibo Kataoka (piano)
Concert 6: Chamber music II (at 20:00)
Diane Aidenbaum, Jean-Michel Alexandre (violin), Laurent Beeckmans, Tinfa Ip, Andre Roe (piano)

Sunday 16th December - GRIEG MARATHON DAY 3
Concert 7: Lyrical Pieces III (at 15:00)
Laurent Beeckmans, Pablo Berlanga Hernandez (piano)
Concert 8: Piano II (at 17:00)
Laurent Beeckmans, Florian Noack (piano)
Concert 9: Songs II (at 20:00)
Sophie Boudailliez, Amelie Hennecker, Sandra Paelinck (soprano), Mamia Akhvlediani, Laurent Beeckmans, Bernadette Malter (piano)