Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bergen's Favorite Son

Norway's most famous composer, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), was born in the city of Bergen.  His use of Norwegian folk tunes in his compositions helped to develop Norway's national identity and put the country on the world's musical map.  His works such as the Piano Concerto in A minor and the Peer Gynt Suite are staples in the classical repertoire worldwide.  And he happens to be one of my favorite composers.

Today Hans Peter and I went to Troldhaugen, Grieg's home on the outskirts of Bergen.  We  began our visit with a concert which is held each afternoon in a small auditorium built on the grounds of the home.  It was a lovely half hour presentation of some of Grieg's short piano pieces.  The concert hall has a picture window from which you can see the small cabin where he wrote many of his compositions.

Hans Peter took this picture of me next to a statue of Grieg outside the concert hall.

The house where Grieg and his wife Nina lived  is a comfortable, but not ostentatious house.  It is furnished exactly as it was when they lived here.

Near the water's edge, carved into a cliff, is the tomb of the Griegs.  The simple inscription "Edvard Nina Grieg" is barely visible.

For any lover of classical music visiting Bergen, a pilgrimage to Troldhaugen is a must.


  1. I listened to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and the rest of the Peer Gynt suite on a 78 RPM children's record over and over when I was a child. It had narration of the story, and I loved it. I was so lucky my parents exposed me to classical (and Broadway) music when I was very young.

    1. I was introduced to "Peer Gynt" in the 6th grade, and then our class had the chance to hear it performed by the Cleveland Orchestra at one of their student concerts.
      The unabridged story of Peer Gynt from the drama by Henrik Ibsen, really isn't appropriate for children. Peer Gynt was quite a lecherous scoundrel!

  2. I'm quite sure I had the "G" rated version!