Eldbjørg Hemsing – Simon Trpčeski: Grieg violin sonatas

Eldbjørg Hemsing, violin
Simon Trpčeski, piano

Edvard Grieg: The Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op. 8
Sonate No. 2 in G major, Op. 13
Sonate No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45

Eldbjørg Hemsing: Homecoming (2019) (© 2019 by Norsk Musikforlag A/S, Norway)

Apple available on Apple Music (exclusively from February 21st 2020): https://Naxos.lnk.to/EldbjorgGriegEL/…

Stream album on Spotify /IDAGIO /Tidal / Amazon Music / Arkiv Music / Select Music: https://Naxos.lnk.to/EldbjorgGriegEL

Eldbjørg Hemsing about her connection to works by Edvard Grieg and her composition ‘Homecoming’

It was already in my early childhood that I became aware of family connection to the work of Edvard Grieg. It was to be some years before I fully understood the story my mother had told me about my ancestor from Valdres passing on a folk tune that was used by Grieg.

When Grieg returned from his studies in Leipzig, one of the first people he showed his compositions to was his godfather, Ole Bull. His first response was reportedly something like: ‘well, this is all good, Edvard, but this is not your voice. You have to travel to the countryside to find your true Norwegian sound’. Grieg did listen to Ole Bull – but, since travelling in those days was very time-consuming, he searched for folk tunes through collectors. In 1848 Ludvig Mathias Lindeman received funding from the Collegium academicum of Christiania (Oslo) University to collect folk tunes and, during his travels across Norway, stopped in my home valley of Valdres. There he met my great-great-grandfather Anders Nielsen Pelesteinbakken, who sang a tune to him. Linde man notated the tune and Grieg later found it in Lindeman’s collection of folk tunes.

And that little fragment of the folk tune must have caught the attention of Edvard Grieg, who used the melody as the inspiration and main theme of one of his greatest works for solo piano, the Ballade, Op. 24.

Folk music was a major presence and influence when I was growing up, and for as long as I can remember I wanted to create a work that would showcase this beautiful melody and celebrate the tune from my home valley and my ancestors. Homecoming, my very first short piece for solo violin, is included on the present recording as a celebration of the musical heritage of my family and my valley.