I was walking along Karl Johan the other day at noon, and heard church bells playing “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (I Dovregubbens Hall) by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). It is not unusual to hear his melodies given such “official” status, as he is to date still Norway’s most well-known composer, and he was the prime example of nationalism in music in the late 19th century. Countless other composers followed him in using their national folk melodies as source material in composition.
The music of Grieg is a sweet and pleasant listen, but sounds so undemanding compared to the revolutions in music that followed in the twentieth century. Nevertheless, he continues to “live on” as a well-loved part of Norwegian cultural history. The piano concerto, the Peer Gynt Suites, and many short pieces are, ultimately, very enjoyable.
The bust pictured above was sculpted by Gustav Vigeland in 1903 and is on display at the Vigeland Museum in Oslo.
Grieg on the web:
Among the free downloadable music of Folke Nauta there is one Grieg piece, “The March of the Dwarves” (Troldtog).
Solveig Kringelborn sings Haugtussa.You can download these songs for free.
All these downloads play in Windows Media Player and Media Player Classic for me, but for some reason not in iTunes.
Finally, you can hear six pieces by Grieg, elevator-style, here. They are free and they play in Quicktime.