Saturday, 28 July 2012


“Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth; and therefore to such as are discontent, in woe, fear, sorrow, or dejected, it is a most present remedy” - Robert Burton

A melancholy Saturday, grey, wet, cold and miserable. We went out for some shopping and to do some routine chores, but we came back home early as the weather was really foul. We watched a movie after lunch and then a quiet evening in.

Here is Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40 (“From Holberg’s Time: Suite in the Olden Style”), and in particular the fourth movement, “Air”, which is also my favourite. This music was written for the bicentenary Year of Ludvig Holberg’s birth. Ludvig Holberg (1684 -1754) was born in Bergen, and became Professor in Metaphysics, Latin, Literature and History, at the University in Copenhagen. But he is most famous, both today and during Grieg’s time, for writing Comedy, and he is recognized as one of the most important personalities in the Danish-Norwegian joint Literature.

The Holberg Suite was finished in August 1884, and the 7th of December it was performed for the very first time in Bergen. Grieg chose the French baroque dance suite as the music base. But he has put his own personal stamp on the separate movements, so there isn’t the slightest amount of doubt that this is Grieg, in French seventeenth century costume.  The Suite was originally written for the piano, and later arranged by the composer for string orchestra. Enjoy!

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