original piano transcription of Edvard Grieg’s Lieder “The Blueberry” in G minor EG 145
composition date: 1881 (August 23)
transcription date: 2011 (May 17, 18)
complete piano transcription (piano solo arrangement) of the single movement
YouTube channel (embedded links below)
An experimental transcription.
The original caught my attention as it is one of the first works list on the composer’s page on IMSLP. The only score available there is a scan of the manuscript – as you can notice, there is no opus number. I’ve done this without a reference recording of the original, out of curiosity. I didn’t expect it to be in minor key, given the title. Also I have no idea about what the lyrics say.
As I wrote in the introductory note for the youtube video: “I transcribed this song by Grieg out of curiosity, after finding the manuscript by chance on imslp.org. I was intrigued by the title but it turned out to be a rather gloomy piece in contrast to what I had imagined. Since the tune is to be repeated three times with different lyrics each time, instead of repeating the same arrangement three times I tried to variate it. I think the final result has quite a different feel from what the original shoud be, so this is more for the curious / eccentric listener than the casual listener.”
The different “feel” I warned about is largely due to the variations I did: there are octave transpositions, voice swaps and the ‘bass’ line is shifted by one note forward each time (talk about “experimental”, these are the same cheap tricks I sometimes use in my own compositions!). Finally after all the icily bright gloom, I returned to the original pitch to close in warm major as the original says – but I still added an extra chord in the finale.
This was my first transcription based on a manuscript (handwritten, not printed) score.