GRIEG & NATIONALISM in MUSIC BY: Mr. Emerlindo C. Matienzo
Romanticism fostered an intense feeling of nationalism among composers. This was accomplished through the use of their own national styles. Among this composers are Grieg of Norway, Tchaikovsky of Russia, Verdi of Italy & Chopin of Poland. Their inspirations were drawn from their own folk tunes.
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) not only used the language and legends of Norway but even the musical dialect – the curious scales & interval & folk traits which give his music the Norwegian flavor.
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway, on June 15, 1843, and became a skillful pianist as a boy. At the age of 15, he enrolled at the Conservatory in Leipzig, Germany. He graduated in 1862 and traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1863. There he met the young Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak. Grieg and Nordraak hoped to establish a Norwegian school of composition, but Nordraak died in 1866.
After Nordraak's death, Grieg returned to Norway. In 1867, he founded the Norwegian Academy of Music in Christiania (now Oslo), the capital of Norway. That year, Grieg married his cousin, Nina Hagerup. He wrote many songs for her, including "I Love Thee" (1864).
Grieg lived in Christiania from 1866 to 1874 and became famous as both a composer and a conductor. The success of his music brought fame to Norway. In 1874, the Norwegian government gave Grieg an annual income for life. He died on Sept. 4, 1907.
Grieg fashioned his melodies in the style of Norwegian folk music, and he was a master of a harmonic style that has the power to evoke the atmosphere of his native land. Among his compositions are Heart Wounds and The Last Spring (melodies after a Norwegian poem), and Holberg Suite, both for string or orchestra; Landsighting and Olaf Trygvason, both for chorus and orchestra; a string quartet; and numerous piano pieces.
Other composition include The Engulfed Cathedral and Sunshine Song, the Ballade in G Minor and the popular Piano Concerto in A Minor. Grieg was particularly distinguished as a writer of songs.