Percy Aldridge Grainger


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
Shepherd's Hey - Grainger, Holst, Etc / Paramount Brass
Release Date: 09/24/2002   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 2547   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Molly on the Shore

Browse 1-14 of 14 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Grainger: Complete Music for Wind Band, Vol. 1 / Engeset, Royal Norwegian Navy Band
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573679 Release Date: 01/12/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
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  • 2.
    Percy Grainger In Performance - Grieg, Grainger, Schumann
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 06/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Pleasure Songs For Flute / Ransom Wilson
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69069 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ransom Wilson,  Nancy Allen
    Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Within A Dream - A Celebration Of The Artistry Of Richard Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10568 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James Gilchrist,  Pamela Helen Stephen,  Roderick Williams,  Bruce Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Cedille On The Move - High Energy Tracks From Chicago's Classical Record Label
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 8002 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  David Leisner,  Joseph White,  Sebastian Huydts  ... 
    Performer:  Cavatina Duo,  Joshua Rubin,  Rachel Barton Pine,  Sebastian Huydts  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Hege,  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pacifica String Quartet,  Cavatina Duo,  Encore Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Kreisler: Violin Music / Oscar Schumsky, Milton Kaye, William Wolfram
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 2529 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Milton Kaye,  Oscar Shumsky,  William Wolfram
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  • 7.
    The Aeolian Company - Original Compositions And Arrangements For Pianola / Lawson
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 136 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel,  Harry Gill,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Performer:  Rex Lawson
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  • 8.
    An Introduction To Percy Grainger
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2029 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Stephen Varcoe,  Timothy Reynish,  Penelope Thwaites
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Matthias Bamert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  Joyful Company of Singers,  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 9.
    The Perlman Edition - The Kreisler Album / Perlman, Sanders
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62601 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Robert Schumann,  Isaac Albeniz,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Samuel Sanders
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  • 10.
    Raschčr International - Saxophone Works / Gwozdz, Leventhal
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 289 Release Date: 05/26/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Jules Massenet,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Siegfried Fournes  ... 
    Performer:  Lois Leventhal,  Lawrence Gwozdz,  Steffen Hass
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  • 11.
    And The Band Played On - Music On The Titanic / I Salonisti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 458382 Release Date: 01/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Performer:  Werner Giger,  Thomas Füri,  Béla Szedlák,  Ferenc Szedlák  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Salonisti
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  • 12.
    Grand Piano - Percy Grainger Plays Grainger
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 8809 Release Date: 12/03/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Traditional
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Lotta Mills Hough
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  • 13.
    Stolen Gems - Transcriptions / James Campbell, Et Al
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 81119 Release Date: 06/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Yon,  Alec Templeton,  Sidney Bechet,  Dave Brubeck  ... 
    Performer:  James Campbell
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  • 14.
    Grainger: Country Gardens & Other Piano Favourites / Jones
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7703 Release Date: 05/02/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  John Dowland
    Performer:  Martin Jones,  Philip Martin,  Richard McMahon
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