Percy Aldridge Grainger

Biography

Born: July 8, 1882l Brighton, Melbourne, Australia    Died: February 21, 1961; White Plains, NY  
Percy Grainger was known during his lifetime as a virtuoso pianist and arranger of popular English folk song. His primary contribution to music, however, lies in his prolific output as a composer of expert and highly original works. Grainger's early years were spent in Melbourne where he studied first with his mother, and later with Louis Pabst. From 1895-1899 he attended the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, Germany, and then settled in London in Read more 1901. The next 10 years or so were devoted to a combination of concert touring and folk song collection. Grainger's early reputation was as a brilliant and eccentric pianist, and it was this talent that not only provided his income for the rest of his life, but also brought him into contact with other composers. Grieg and Delius, in particular, had great influence on Grainger's development of a sympathy and sensitivity toward unique national and folk styles. In 1914, Grainger moved to New York, beginning a long career as a composer, arranger, collector of folk music, and educator; he became an American citizen in 1918. In 1925 and 1927 he collected and published over 200 Danish folk songs, and returned to Australia in 1924, 1926, and from 1934-1935 in order to establish a Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne devoted to ethnomusicological research. His final years were spent completing and arranging his earlier works and trying to develop a workable form of his "free music" using primarily theremins, one of the earliest electronic instruments. The project remained incomplete, and Grainger died embittered and in relative obscurity, known only for a handful of light works that he referred to derogatorily as his "fripperies."

Early in his life, Grainger rejected the central European tradition of Western classical music, seeking instead a "democratic" music that was more closely related to natural sounds, speech, and world music. In his quest to assimilate as much unique musical culture as possible, Grainger became one of the first ethnomusicologists to use the wax cylinder phonograph in the collection and transcription of indigenous music. His arrangements of many of these are among the best ever done, capturing not only the melodies and harmonies, but also the timbres, inflections, and performance styles of each individual piece. In his own compositions, Grainger experimented with nontraditional rhythms, forms, and instrumental combinations in an attempt to create what he called "free music." He also created a large body of more traditional works and arrangements intended for more popular consumption, motivated, no doubt, by his experience with the Edwardian music hall and later with the U.S. Army Band. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 278 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Cowell & Grainger: Works for Saxophones / Krieger
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 293 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Henry Cowell
    Performer:  Christoph Enzel,  Fabian Muller,  Ruth Velten,  Frank Ziegert [aka Frank Z]  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Peltz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Percy Saxophone Ensemble,  Intersax,  New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble
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  • 2.
    The Magnificent Steinway / Hyperion Knight
    Label: First Impression Music   Catalog: 97 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Aram Khachaturian,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Hyperion Knight
    On sale! $26.98
    CD: $22.99
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  • 3.
    Bushes & Briars: Folk-songs For Choirs Books 1 & 2
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1606 Release Date: 02/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Traditional,  John Byrt,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Performer:  Michael [Bass Vocal] Popplewell,  Karen [Soprano Vocal] Lukose,  David Hartley,  David [Tenor Vocal] Hunt  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Hunt
    CD: $11.99
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  • 4.
    Grainger: Music for Saxophones
    Label: Naxos   Catalog:  Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Claude Le Jeune,  Guillaume de Machaut,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Joyce Griggs,  Casey Dierlam
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  • 5.
    The Music Lover's Grainger
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 4042 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Michael J. Colburn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Marine Band
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    The CBSO Years / Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552758 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Benjamin Britten,  Kurt Weill,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ameral Gunson,  John Mitchinson,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys  ... 
    CD: $118.99
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  • 7.
    Orchestral Concert
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 28554 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Nelson,  Peter Lieuwen,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Thomas Fortmann
    Performer:  Andrzej Grabiec
    Conductor:  Franz Anton Krager
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Memories & Variations
    Label: Phoenix Park-kim   Catalog: 5638553852 Release Date: 09/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Earl Wild,  John C. Griffin,  Dave Brubeck  ... 
    Performer:  Phoenix Park-kim
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  • 9.
    Martin Jones - 75th Birthday Tribute
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1718 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Jones,  Richard McMahon,  Adrian Farmer
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    CD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49294 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Richard Conte,  Andrew Ennis
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  • 11.
    Label: Valor Brass   Catalog: 5638482782 Release Date: 05/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Darius Milhaud,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Victor Ewald  ... 
    Performer:  Valor Brass
    CD: $23.99
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  • 12.
    Grieg: Cello Sonata; Grainger: Scandinavian Suite / Brantelid, Hadland
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2120 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Carl Nielsen
    Performer:  Andreas Brantelid,  Christian Ihle Hadland,  Lars Bjornkjaer
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  • 13.
    British Classics / Central Band Of The Royal Air Force
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10847 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Ernest Tomlinson  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Hill
    Conductor:  Duncan Stubbs
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    Carnival of the Animals / John Morris Russell, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Fanfare Cincinnati   Catalog: FC-004 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Recorded Sound,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Ilya Finkelshteyn,  Randy Bowman,  Jonathan Gunn
    Conductor:  John Morris Russell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $184.99
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  • 16.
    Fervent Reverberations
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 50836 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Barnes,  Morten Lauridsen,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Edward Green  ... 
    Conductor:  Adam F. Brennan,  Julia Federico,  Graham Kerick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    Road 66 / Shani Diluka, Natalie Dessay
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 237 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Adams,  Keith Jarrett,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Shani Diluka,  Natalie Dessay
    CD: $23.99
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  • 18.
    Above and Beyond / Schwarz,
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573121 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Creston,  Aaron Copland,  Gerard Schwarz,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band
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  • 19.
    Bach Inspirations / Hannes Minnaar
    Label: Cobra Records   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  César Franck,  Franz Liszt,  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Hannes Minnaar
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  • 20.
    Mighty Voice
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sir William Walton,  Percy Whitlock  ... 
    Performer:  Luke Bond
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 21.
    Chanticleer - How Sweet the Sound
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 641038 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Ignacio Jerusalem,  Manuel de Zumaya,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Baum,  Frank Albinder,  Douglas [Tenor Vocals] Wright,  Christopher Fritzsche  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Jennings,  Ettore Stratta,  Frank Albinder,  Skip Sempé
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chanticleer,  Chanticleer Sinfonia,  Don Haas Trio  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 22.
    Gershwin For Two Pianos
    Label: Rivermont   Catalog: 2227 Release Date: 01/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Richard Dowling,  Frederick Hodges
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
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  • 23.
    Panorama Of American Piano Music / Yvar Mikhashoff
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 262 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Leo Ornstein,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Yvar Mikhashoff
    CD: $52.99
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  • 24.
    Virtuosity Squared
    Label: Ablaze Records   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Douglas Knehans,  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Pridonoff Duo (Piano Duo)
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    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 25.
    The Expressive Voice Of The Flute
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 21222 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Howard Blake,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Rhodes,  Kenneth Smith
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    CD: $24.99
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