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Edvard Grieg and the Peer Gynt suite

Many know Ibsen’s Peer Gynt through Edvard Grieg’s music, but few know what Grieg himself felt about the suite he wrote.
Gålåvatnet

Gålåvatnet

Music for the theatre play "Peer Gynt"

In 1874, Henrik Ibsen asked Edvard Grieg to compose the music for the stage play "Peer Gynt". It took Grieg two years to finish, and on February 24th 1876, Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" accompanied by Grieg's music had its premiere at Christiania Theater in Oslo.

The music was inspired by Norwegian folk music, but it was also written in the same way as Ibsen wrote "Peer Gynt", with an ironic tone of the Norwegian way of being at the time.

Edvard Grieg wrote in a letter about his work with the "Peer Gynt" music:

"It is an awfully intractable piece, some places, except from for example Solveig's song [...] And I have also done something for the Hall of the Mountain King, which I literally can not listen to, how it clings of cow patty, of norwegianness and self-enoughness. But I expect that the irony will be felt." 
- Edvard Grieg in a letter to Frants Beyer 27th august 1874

Little did he know that the music he could not listen to is the music he became most famous for, and the music that would make "Peer Gynt" known to so many people around the world.

Grieg's music by lake Gålåvatnet

Even though the theater production of "Peer Gynt" at Gålå can change between traditional and more modern expressions, the music still has its roots in Grieg's original Peer Gynt suite.

For the productions in 2014-2016, Kjetil Bjerkestrand composed new music that focused more on the rhythmical elements in Grieg's music then what the play traditionally does. The seven musicians had a stronger integration in the play itself, and brought both the traditional and more modern music closer to the audience.

In 2017 there will be a new theatre production with new musical expressions. Travel to Gålå to experience the new interpretation of Grieg's music in the middle of Peer Gynt's kingdom.

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Peer Gynt at Gålå 2017
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Peer Gynt at Gålå 2017.
Photo: Bård Gundersen

The Norwegian Peer Gynt for an international audience

The theatre play “Peer Gynt” by lake Gålåvatnet is well suited for an international audience.
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Peer Gynt at Gålå 2017.
Photo: Bård Gundersen
Peer Gynt på Gålåvatnet
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Peer Gynt på Gålåvatnet.
Photo: Bård Gundersen

Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt at Gålå

Experience culture and nature at the outdoor stage at Gålå. A memorable experience.
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Peer Gynt på Gålåvatnet.
Photo: Bård Gundersen
Gålåvatnet
Credits
Gålåvatnet.
Photo: Bård Gundersen

Discover the roots of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt

Learn more about Henrik Ibsen and why he wrote Peer Gynt.
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Gålåvatnet.
Photo: Bård Gundersen