Edward Grieg is Norwegian composer, pianist, conductor, his creative work became European cultural heritage. Piano concerto, music to H. Ibsen’s drama Peer Gynt, Lyric Pieces and romances are on the top of music of the second part of the XIX century. Tchaikovsky wrote: “Grieg managed to win Russian hearts once and for all. There is something close and native for us in his music full with fascinating melancholy which reflects the beauties of Norwegian nature, so attractive for northerner’s soul. His music finds warm and sympathetic response in our hearts”.
Concerto for piano and orchestra in A Minor – one of the most well-known and often played compositions by Grieg – was created in 1868. It is a significant event in the genre’s history. The concerto is distinguished by vivid national originality, dramatic scale, virtuosic piano part. Grieg’s inspiring music sounded like a hymn of Norway. The concerto caused high appreciation and delight of major world pianists – F. Liszt and A. Rubenstein.
Richard Strauss is one of the most outstanding German composers at the turn of XIX-XX centuries. Along with G. Mahler he was one of the best conductors of his time as well. In 1910 he creates his the most popular opera The Knight of the Rose. Influence of Viennese culture, performances in Vienna, friendship with Viennese literary men, long-standing liking for the music of his namesake Johann Strauss – all these factors had an effect in his music. Opera-waltz, steeped by Vienna romance, in which amusing adventures, comic intrigues with disguise, touching relations of heroes interwove. The Knight of the Rose had great success at the premiere in Dresden and at other venues in many countries, and became one of the most popular operas of the XX century.