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2.110318 - MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - NORWAY: Maihaugen Open-Air Museum and Norwegian Folk Museum, Oslo (NTSC)
A Musical Visit to Norway
Maihaugen, at Lillehammer, brings together items from the traditional life of the valley of Gudbrandsdalen, a collection founded in 1887 by Anders Sandvig.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book I, Op 12, No 1 – Arietta
Born in 1843 in Bergen into a family of remoter Scottish paternal ancestry, Edvard Grieg came to represent the first great musical flowering of Norwegian nationalism, drawing inspiration from his own country, after earlier training in Leipzig. His short piano pieces, collected in a series of albums under the title Lyric Pieces, found a ready market. The first volume of eight pieces was published in 1867.
A garden, with its ornamental statues, is included in contrast to the less sophisticated peasant culture chiefly represented at Maihaugen.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 4 – Halling (Norwegian Dance)
The second volume of Lyric Pieces was published in 1884. In Halling Grieg recreates the traditional Norwegian dance.
Maihaugen: Knutslykkja (exterior)
Knutslykkja takes its name from Knut, who cleared a tract of land called Koloen. He was followed by Per Åkerbryter, Per the Land-Clearer, who at the beginning of the 19th century established his family at Knutslykkja.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 3 – Melodie
The third of the eight pieces that make up Book II of the Lyric Pieces is a Melodie, marked Allegretto.
Maihaugen: Knutslykkja (interior)
Anders Sandvig established the simple dwelling of Knutslykkja from North Fron at Maihaugen in memory of his parents. The room seen was the centre of life for the original family of six children and their mother and father, their activities represented by the spinning-wheel, cradle and carpenter’s tools preserved there. The farm has six buildings.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book IV, Op 47, No 3 – Melodie
Book IV of the Lyric Pieces contains seven pieces, the third of the set a lilting Melodie.
Traditional farm buildings are assembled at Maihaugen, grouped round an inner and outer yard.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book IV, Op 47, No 4 – Halling
Grieg returned on a number of occasions to the traditional Norwegian dance, the Halling, heard against its drone-bass accompaniment.
Øygarden, from Skjåk, is formed by a group of nineteen farm buildings, in 1875 home to thirteen people, with two horses, a bull, four cows, twelve sheep, nineteen goats and two pigs.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book VIII, Op 65, No 1 – Fra ungdomsdagene (From Years of Youth)
Book VIII of the Lyric Pieces was published in 1897. It opens with a nostalgic memory of younger days, framing a characteristic dance.
Øygarden, the deserted farm, was in fact abandoned for years, but, in spite of natural disasters, was flourishing again in the 18th century. Its transfer to Maihaugen was completed in 1926.
Here traditional family life is seen once more.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 8 – Canon
Canon, from Book II of the Lyric Pieces, uses a simple canon in its outer sections, framing a livelier central section.
Maihaugen: Fisherman’s Chapel
The timbered Fisherman’s Chapel, from Fåberg, dates from 1459, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Bishop Gunnar of Hamar. It was first moved to the garden of the founder of Maihaugen, Anders Sandvig, and transferred later to Breisjøen.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 7 – Waltz
Written in 1883, the E minor Waltz moves into technically more ambitious writing before the return of the music of the opening.
Maihaugen: Bjørnstad from Vågå
The rebuilding of Bjørnstad at Maihaugen was completed in 1913, creating once more a farmstead as it would have been in the 18th century.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book IX, Op 68, No 1 – Matrosernes opsang (Sailors’ Song)
Book IX of the Lyric Pieces was published in 1899. The first of the six pieces is a cheerful Sailors’ Song.
Maihaugen: Mountain Farm Buildings
The interior of a mountain farm building depicts elements in the simple life of farmers, who took their flocks to higher ground, when spring came.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 5 – Springdans
Marked Allegro giocoso, the Spring Dance is a characteristic folk-dance.
Simple furnishings typify the interior of a traditional farm cottage at Maihaugen, its details carefully and realistically preserved.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book X, Op 71, No 5 – Halling
The fifth of the seven pieces that constitute Book X of the Lyric Pieces is a traditional Halling.
Andersstua was built in 1777. The main room is seen, with its long table and benches, a baby’s cradle and other items. Water had to be stored in a copper cask by the door, with a great deal of fetching and carrying to meet the needs of people and animals.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book II, Op 38, No 2 – Folkevise (Folk-Song)
Grieg captures the spirit of Norwegian music again in a simple Folk-Song.
Andersstua is simply decorated, displaying a shining copper water cask and kettle, simple wooden carvings and treasured pictures.
Grieg has a command of melancholy, displayed in a number of pieces, including the Elegy from Book II of the Lyric Pieces.
Clothes are washed in the traditional way, in a dolly tub with a washboard and then rinsed in a river and wrung out by hand.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book V, Op 54, No 2 – Gangar (Norwegian March)
Gangar, in 6/8 and marked Allegretto marcato, is from Book V of the Lyric Pieces, published in 1890.
Maihaugen: Garmo Church
Garmo Church, a wooden stave building, originally stood in Lom, and was partially rescued from destruction to be re-erected at Maihaugen.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book X, Op 71, No 1 – Der var engang (Once upon a time)
In Der var engang Grieg offers a tale, with excitement at its heart.
Maihaugen, in its re-creation of traditional Norway, has a place for grazing sheep and cattle.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book III, Op 43, No 2 – Ensam vandrer (Solitary Wanderer)
The image of the lonely traveller is a commonplace of romanticism. Book III of the Lyric Pieces was composed and published in 1886.
Hens too are kept at Maihaugen, including some birds of exotic appearance.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book I, Op 12, No 4 – Alfedans (Elves’ Dance)
Grieg’s Elves’ Dance is marked Molto allegro e sempre staccato.
Oslo: Norwegian Folk Museum
Pigs root for food in their enclosure at the Norwegian Folk Musum in Oslo, another open-air display of Norwegian traditional ways of life.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book I, Op 12, No 2 – Vals (Waltz)
Grieg’s Waltz takes on a Norwegian appearance in the second piece in Book I of the Lyric Pieces.
Maihaugen: Winter House
The interior of a house displays, as always, the skill of craftsmen in carpentry and of the women in domestic arts.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book I, Op 12, No 5 – Folkevise (Folk-Song)
Grieg’s harmonies cast a characteristic light on music of essential simplicity.
Lakes and tarns, surrounded by woodland, form part of the landscape at Maihaugen.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book X, Op 71, No 4 – Skovstillhed (Peace of the Woods)
The fourth piece of Book X echoes the peace of the woods depicted.
The schoolhouse from Skjåk dates from 1860, when such schools were first established in Norway by law. It was erected at Maihaugen in 1931.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book I, Op 12, No 7 – Albumblad (Album-Leaf)
Grieg’s Album-Leaf was first issued in 1865 in a Copenhagen periodical, Musical Museum and in the first set of Lyric Pieces it was originally called A Leaf in the Family Album.
Oslo: Norwegian Folk Museum: Stave Church
A number of ancient stave churches have been preserved in Norway, including the building now in the open-air section of the Horwegian Folk Museum. This church, originally in Gol, dates from the 13th century.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book IV Op 47, No 1: Valse-Impromptu
Book IV of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces was published in 1888. The first of its seven pieces, marked Allegro con moto, is a Waltz-Impromptu.
The wooden buildings and wooded landscape are seen, as the light fades.
Music Grieg: Lyric Pieces Book X, Op 71, No 6 – Forbi (Gone)
The manuscript of Grieg’s Forbi has the words In Memoriam written over it, an indication of his mood as the series of Lyric Pieces seemed about to come to an end.
Balázs Szokolay, piano [Naxos 8.550450]
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