Grieg: Watchman’s Song: Op. 12, No. 03

There is a bit of a mystery behind this short piece by Edvard Grieg. Supposedly it was inspired by his seeing Shakespeare’s Macbeth. But the first and last part is about a hymn that was inserted into the version of the play that he saw. The middle section is marked “Spirit of the Night”, then he returns to the hymn to finish his composition.

No one knows for sure who or what the “Watchman” is.

There is a lot more to this story, but this is the essence of what happened. I decided instead to use lighthouse pictures. That seemed appropriate to me because of the peaceful nature of the music, and because a “watchman” is also someone who takes care of the lamps in lighthouses.

The rest of the story:

This is one of the first serious pieces my grandmother taught me when I was very young. She had a book of Grieg Lyric Pieces, and she played it for me. The problem of such popular “student pieces” is that they are popular because they are not too difficult play, but playing them very well is very difficult. So we have to find really good pianists to show what can be done with them.

For a list of the Lyric Pieces, look HERE.

5 thoughts on “Grieg: Watchman’s Song: Op. 12, No. 03”

  1. I’m glad you did this. What you say is very true about “early pieces”. Sometimes I look up “student pieces” and even “teacher demos” are basic and empty.

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