Schroeder Premieres

Edvard Grieg                   

Sonata in A minor, Op. 36 (1883)

Alwin Schroeder performed the Grieg sonata in Germany as early as 1885. He returned to the work in the United States, including "an uncommonly beautiful reading" in December 1901 with pianist Arthur Whiting that inspired this poetic description: “…as though the writer had visited the Norwegian fjords and tried to represent to the ear their frowning precipices in a piercing gale, and then descended to the green and peaceful valleys below…” (Musical Courier, Dec. 1901; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Dec. 5, 1901, p. 12) The same month he performed it with Helen Hopekirk in Boston, putting "notable warmth and depth of feeling into the Grieg andante." (Boston Herald, Dec. 20, 1901, p. 8)

 

          Upon Schroeder's return from Frankfurt (where he had succeeded Hugo Becker at the Hoch Conservatory) in 1908, he opened his first US recital with the Grieg sonata; with touching hyperbole the press release heralded Schroeder as “the most loved musician who has played in America during the past quarter of a century..." (as printed in the Musical Courier, Sept. 11, 1908, p. 19; the New York Tribune left this part of the statement out)