Last spring is one of the Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34, for string orchestra that was completed in 1880 and first published in 1881. The two movements are instrumental arrangements Grieg made of two of his 12 Melodies, Op. 33, published in 1880: these were settings for voice and piano of words by the Norwegian poet and journalist Aasmund Olavsson Vinje. Two Elegiac Melodies was dedicated to Heinrich von Herzogenberg. Grieg also arranged this for solo piano. Last spring in Norwegian is VÃ¥ren, and in German Letzter FrÃ¼hling. In Vinje's words, from Grieg's Op. 33 No. 2, the poet describes the beauty of the countryside in spring, appearing after the snow of winter; he thinks he might be seeing it for the last time. The original composition is in G major. There are two verses: in both the melody is played by the first violins. The orchestration of the second verse is more developed, starting with the violins, in four parts, in high register; the rest of the strings gradually join in during the verse, until a thick texture is heard from the full string orchestra towards the end. This is a very beautiful composition and we felt we could not leave this out of our library of arrangements. In our arrangement, all the players in the ensemble get to play the tune at some stage. The French horn plays a prominent role in knitting the various sections of the piece together as well as at the opening and closing of the piece. Technically we would class this is fairly easy.
In most cases, this is the arrangment being played back using the Sibelius video export facility, but in some cases this is an actual performance by groups commissioned by Undiscovered Brass to actually perform the arrangment.