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
Grainger: The Complete Piano Music / Martin Jones
Release Date: 11/18/1997   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 1767   Number of Discs: 5
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Grand Piano - Percy Grainger Plays Grainger
Release Date: 12/03/1996   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 8809   Number of Discs: 1
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Grainger: Country Gardens & Other Piano Favourites / Jones
Release Date: 05/02/1994   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7703   Number of Discs: 1
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Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy, Etc / Junkin, Dallas Wind Symphony
Release Date: 01/13/2009   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 117   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 328 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763772 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Northey,  John Lanchbery,  Jorge Mester,  David Measham  ... 
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  • 3.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764628 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  David Stanhope
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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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,  Christopher Fritzsche,  Frank Albinder,  Douglas [Tenor Vocals] Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Jennings,  Ettore Stratta,  Frank Albinder,  Skip Sempé
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chanticleer,  Chanticleer Sinfonia,  Don Haas Trio  ... 
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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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:  Kenneth Smith,  Paul Rhodes
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  • 12.
    Britten The Performer - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922102 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  John Tobin,  Jenny Hill,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Wandsworth School Choir  ... 
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  • 13.
    Piers Lane Goes To Town
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67967 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Katharine Parker,  Alan Lane,  Anthony Doheny,  John Ireland  ... 
    Performer:  Piers Lane
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  • 14.
    Down By The Sea / Hilary Campbell, Blossom Street
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573069 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James MacMillan,  Alexander Campkin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Judith Bingham  ... 
    Conductor:  Hilary Campbell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Blossom Street
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Rare Transcriptions & Paraphrases, Vol. 2 / Anthony Goldstone
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25106 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Pabst,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone
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  • 16.
    Gems For Piano
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1107 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Penelope Thwaites
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  • 17.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 18.
    Grainger: Works For Large Chorus And Orchestra / Andrew Davis
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5121 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Performer:  Jose Carbo,  Andrew Morton,  Alexander Knight,  Timothy Reynolds  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus,  Sydney Chamber Choir
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  • 19.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 20.
    Blue Silence / David Pereira, Timothy Young
    Label: Tall Poppies   Catalog: 222 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elena Kats-Chernin,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Don Banks,  Alicia Grant  ... 
    Performer:  David Pereira,  Timothy Young
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  • 21.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4765171 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Lord Berners,  Sir William Walton,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
    Performer:  Antony Gray
    On sale! $47.99
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  • 22.
    British Music For Concert Band
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1326 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Eric Banks
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    Mothership
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 50261 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mason Bates,  George Gershwin,  Robert Moran,  Joel Puckett  ... 
    Performer:  David Gonzalez Jr.,  Alex Burgoyne,  Caleb Miller,  Kelsey Patterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Trachsel
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Grainger: Folk Inspired Works For Duo Piano / Bilder Duo
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 633 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bilder Duo
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Harry Begian
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 56001 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Alfred Reed,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Hanssen  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    CD: $17.99
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