An ancient melody, probably from the 16th century, is the basis for Grieg's, Op. 24. This "Ballade in Variation Form" was written in winter and spring 1875/76, in the months following his parents' deaths. It is often interpreted as an attempt to surmount this difficult period, something most impressively audible in the chromatically-descending bass-line that permeates the piece. The Ballade is considered to be Grieg's most important piece for piano and is most certainly his most personal composition, even though he himself never performed it in public.
The fingering newly prepared for this Urtext edition helps to open up the dense piano writing with its pedal-points and polyphonic structures.