On a visit to Copenhagen, Grieg showed his overture to Niels Gade, who told Grieg: "This is trash, Grieg; go home and write something better." After this, Grieg arranged this overture for piano duet and sent it in to a competition at the Swedish Academy, one of the judges being Gade. The overture took first prize and was published in its duet form in Stockholm.
The opening Andante in D major starts with chords played by the orchestra contrasting with a sunny woodwind theme. The tension slowly builds to a D minor Allegro section in sonata form. The orchestra takes up the main theme in D minor taken from a song entitled "Autumn Storm." After the main theme, we hear a secondary theme in F major. The development brings the return of previous themes through a series of restless modulations. After a slower section for horn and strings, the recapitulation brings the return of the main themes. The overture concludes with a triumphant reprise of the opening woodwind theme.
Maurice Abravanel conducting the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Recorded in 1975 and released in 1992 by Vox.
Sir Thomas Beecham conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Recorded in......