Grieg's music in popular culture
- 1 Music education
- 2 Neopaganism
- 3 References to Grieg's music in popular culture
- 3.1 Peer Gynt
- 3.2 Norwegian Dances
- 3.3 Piano Sonata
- 3.4 Piano Concerto
- 3.5 "Brothers, Sing On!"
- 3.6 Other pieces
- 4 See also
- 5 References
For the 150th anniversary of his birth, Norway organized a huge celebration, "Grieg in the Schools", which included programs for children from pre-school to secondary school in 1993. The programs were repeated in 1996 in Germany, and called "Grieg in der Schule", in which over a thousand students participated. There were Grieg observances in 39 countries, from Mexico to Moscow.
Further celebrations of Grieg and his music were held in 2007, the 100th anniversary of his death. Bosnia and Herzegovina held a large-scale celebration, featuring Peer Gynt and the Piano Concerto a public concert for children and adults. The July 2007 Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference featured Grieg's works.
The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Nebraska presented a chamber music concert that featured one of Grieg's string quartets. Annual conferences are held for continuing education of music teachers and music therapists in the United States.
The New York Times reviewed one of many concerts for young people with Grieg's music, made popular for today's audiences. The reviewer noted, "Kurt Masur has put youth high on his agenda at the New York Philharmonic, and he was conspicuously present at the orchestra's first Young People's Concert at Avery Fisher Hall on Saturday afternoon.... Children and parents came in fair numbers." However, "the enormous grip of popular culture under which such elements are subsumed and it looks like Mr. Masur and the Philharmonic will have the fight of their lives." Masur the teacher-conductor "wisely called for the Grieg themes about to be heard. His delivery was warm, not without humor and occasionally muddled by struggles with the language." He even "stopped in mid-performance to admire Irene Breslaw's viola solo [in Peer Gynt] and to point out its connection to the American hoedown tradition." In conclusion, The Times asserted that "the melodies, already identified by instrument, emerged from the larger mass and did their work. There is a directness in Grieg's music that travels well across cultural divides."
References to Grieg's music in popular culture
||This article may contain excessive, poor, or irrelevant examples. (November 2012)|
In 1960 Duke Ellington recorded a jazz interpretation of "Peer Gynt" in his Swinging Suites by Edward E. and Edward G. album. The album was rereleased on CD in as Three Suites along with Ellington's reworking of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker in 1990.
"In the Hall of the Mountain King"
Alvino Rey recorded a swing arrangement of the piece with his big band in 1941.
Hugo Montenegro, an American orchestra leader and composer of film soundtracks, released a jazz arrangement of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" on his 1960 album, Bongos and Brass.
The British instrumental band Nero and the Gladiators recorded a "twangy" arrangement of the piece as "Hall of the Mountain King" in 1961.
The British instrumental band Sounds Incorporated released a rock arrangement of the piece as "Hall of the Mountain King" in 1965.
The British instrumental band The Rapiers recorded a version of "Hall of the Mountain King" in their 1987 album "1961".
British rock band The Who recorded another performance of "Hall of the Mountain King" in 1967. This version went unreleased until 1995, when it appeared as a bonus track on a CD reissue of The Who Sell Out. Tucson Weekly has called this cover a "Who-freakout arrangement" One reviewer calls The Who's version the "weirdest of these" covers on the CD, and claims it is "a rendition of the corresponding extract from Grieg's Peer Gynt suite ... [yet] it hardly sounds like Grieg here, anyway..." Another claims that "the main function of the composition is to evoke thoughts of (naturally) King Crimson and (unnaturally) Pink Floyd, because in parts it sounds exactly like 'Interstellar Overdrive'."
San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company performed the song on public television station KQED-TV for the program "Come up the Years" in April 1967.
The British Band Apollo 100 used "In the Hall of the Mountain King" as inspiration for their version "Mad Mountain King" on their 1972 album Joy.
Another progressive rock group Saga included a version on their 1998 album Detours.
Heavy metal guitarist Wolf Hoffmann covered the piece many times in live performances with his band Accept, including their live album Staying a Life (Track: "Guitar Solo Wolf" ) and also as a studio version on his solo album Classical.
The Disco Biscuits have been known to occasionally cover this song as well in live concert.
Zedd, a German electronic dance music producer and DJ, created a remix of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" titled "Dovregubben" in 2011.
A riff is used at the beginning of the 1965 garage/psychedelic rock song, Stormy, by The Jesters of Newport.
The theme was heard in demo recordings made by the Norwegian heavy metal band TNT before their 1984 album Knights of the New Thunder. However, at the time of writing the song it was used in has never been released on any official album.
Marillion used the main theme from the song in their live piece called "Margaret".
Princess, a Hungarian violin-playing orchestra has also played this piece. Hungarian title: "A hegykirály barlangjában" (exact meaning: "in the cave of the mountain king")
mc chris rapped over the song for his unreleased track called "peer gynt".
The German psychobilly band Mad Sin added a bridge including the theme in their song "Brand New Gun (Bang Boom Bang)".
Apocalyptica played it as cello quartet, amplified and distorted in 2000 in their album Cult. Exactly the same recording appeared on their first disc of Amplified // A Decade of Reinventing the Cello.
Film and TV
"In the Hall of the Mountain King" plays a major plot point in Fritz Lang's early sound film M. Peter Lorre's character of child killer Hans Beckert whistles the tune whenever he is overcome with the urge to commit murder. However, Lorre himself could not whistle – it is actually Lang who is heard. The film was one of the first to use a leitmotif, associating "In the Hall of the Mountain King" with the Lorre character. Later in the film, the mere sound of the song lets the audience know that he is nearby, off-screen. This association of a musical theme with a particular character or situation, a technique borrowed from opera, is now a film staple.
In the 1973 film "Soylent Green", the music which played when the flock of sheep appear in the presentation as Edward G. Robinson character of Sol was "going home" via assisted suicide, is "Morning" from Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite #1", and at the end of the presentation is "Asas Death", also from the Suite.
In the Henley Regatta scene of The Social Network (2010), a version interpreted by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is used when the Winklevoss brothers compete before discovering that Facebook reaches both Europe and video live streaming.
The song was used in Hanna (2011).
The song also appears during the teaser trailer of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Beetlejuice, Funny Games, Bride Wars, Rat Race, Friday After Next, Burning Palms, The Borrowers, Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, Needful Things and Dead Snow.
It was also used in the 2001 film Rat Race.
The song was the basis for the theme song to Inspector Gadget.
in the 1957 made-for-TV film The Pied Piper of Hamelin the theme is heard several times, most notably when the Piper (Van Johnson) plays it on his flute (joined by the full orchestra) as he leads the rats out of Hamelin and to their doom in the River Weser.
A young boy is seen playing "In the Hall of The Mountain King" as a piano practice piece in an episode of Mad Men entitled "The Mountain King".
In the final episode of Beavis and Butthead, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is being played when Principal McVicker has flashbacks to their antics.
In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode, entitled "Farmer-Hunter, Farmer Hunted", the song can be heard several times.
"In the Hall of the Mountain King" is also featured in the intro of the television series The Dudesons.
The vampires in The Lost Boys: The Tribe whistle the tune to this song.
Fragments of the piece are heard in the BBC Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire in a re-enactment where Philippe Petit and an accomplice herd the infamous tightrope wire up the stairs, past a guard on duty. Though not played in full, the song is listed in the film's musical credits.
It was used in the trailer for Inspector Gadget (film).
In Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers Pete's song "Petey's King of France" is sung to the tune of this song.
It served as a basis for the theme of The Gravediggers Squad animated series.
A version of the song is used during a scene featuring a game of charades in a 2010 episode ("Chuck Versus the Leftovers") of Chuck. Scenes immediately following this one then work cues of In the Hall of the Mountain King into the show's original score.
The song is played at the beginning of a season 9 episode of Good Eats titled "The Waffle Truth" (first aired on October 12, 2005).
It is used in the movie trailer of Dinner for Schmucks.
It was used in the sixth episode of the second season of Misfits (TV series).
It was used in "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" during a graphing of Steve Wiebe's world record attempt.
It was also played in the opening scenes of the Norwegian movie Død Snø (Dead Snow).
It was played in the 2011 movie Hanna by Grimm as one of her first introductions to music.
It is used in Young Einstein (1988) by Yahoo Serious in the scene where Albert and his father drink more and more beer, which has no bubbles in it, the consumption of which yields Albert to invent the first articifial beer with bubbles in it by ways of splitting the beer atom (with a chisel, nonetheless).
It is played in the end credits of the 2011 film, Johnny English Reborn, as Johnny English prepares dinner in his colleague's kitchen.
It is played in the end credits of the The Troll Hunter (Norwegian: Trolljegeren) a 2010 Norwegian dark fantasy film.
It is lightly referenced in the episode "Luna Eclipsed" of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
In U.S. Acres, it is used as a theme song for Orson's evil brothers.
The song plays in an episode of the internet Flash series International Moron Patrol.
Russian version is sung in 1997 Russian animated film Dunno on the Moon, with changed Russian lyrics (fragment with song)
It can be heard once in the Animaniacs episode "Slappy Goes Walnuts".
In the fourth episode of Orange Is the New Black, a guard hums and whistles the tune while searching a cell.
Also featured in Total Drama All Stars as the tune that Mike's Multiple personality Mal whistles.
The song was used in the trailer for POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.
The main theme was used as part of a televised promo in the UK, advertising the British tabloid talk show "The Jeremy Kyle Show". The promo aired on ITV1 between 22 and 25 April 2014 advertising the return of the brand new series. It's duration was 1:15.
In the first episode of Arrow, season 3, one of Steelgrave's guys whistles just before launching a grenade at the restaurant where Oliver & Felicity are having their date; then again when the guys set up a bomb at a boxing match.
- Mountain King: Grieg's music was a main part of this 1983 game, released for the Atari 2600 and 5200 and the Commodore 64. In the game, the player character must search for the crown of the Mountain King and then escape the mountain with it; "Anitra's Dance" is played as the character searches, its volume indicating the crown's nearness, and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" plays as the character attempts to escape with the crown.
- Return Fire: this 1995 game featured In the Hall of the Mountain King as the background music when the player used the Armored Support Vehicle.
- Manic Miner: this 1983 ZX Spectrum computer game uses In the Hall of the Mountain King as in-game music.
- Doriath: this 1987 C64 computer game released by Virgin Interactive Entertainment uses In the Hall of the Mountain King as in-game background music.
- Midnight Rescue!: this 1989 PC game uses In the Hall of the Mountain King for in-game background music.
- Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness: an arrangement of Anitra's Dance is used as the theme for Hotel Mordavia inside the town's walls.
- Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday: in this game released for the Super Nintendo, part of In the Hall of the Mountain King is used in the music to the Abandoned Mines level.
- 10 Pin: Champions Alley: a more upbeat version of In the Hall of the Mountain King is used as the background music in one of the levels.
- Empire: Wargame of the Century: this formative strategy wargame used In the Hall of the Mountain King as its intro music.
- Yoshi's Story: much of the music for this N64 game was based on In the Hall of the Mountain King, especially the song Baby Bowser's Lullaby.
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex: a song Atmospheric Pressure is heavily based on In the Hall of the Mountain King.
- Pump It Up Fiesta EX: Fiesta EX presents a classical crossover by BanYa based on In the Hall of the Mountain King called The Devil.
- Pix'n Love Rush: a rendition of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is played when the player achieves 10 times score multiplier in this 2010 iPod and 2011 PlayStation Network game.
- Frontier: Elite II: In the Hall of the Mountain King appears as a selectable in-game song in this 1993 space trading simulator multi-platform game.
- Music Memory 2013: features In the Hall of the Mountain King.
- The Book of Unwritten Tales: Grieg's music is featured in the dwarf bastion.
- Borderlands 2: the character Salvador will sometimes hum "In the Hall of the Mountain King" while using his Gunzerking skill.
- Boom Boom Rocket: this Xbox Live Arcade title has a remixed arrangement under the name of Hall of the Mountain Dude.
- Minecraft: Grieg's music is featured in an animation called Battle of the Bids, in which two villagers fight over a potion. The fight gets more extreme as the music increases.
- Civilization V: this game, developed by Firaxis Games and released by 2K Games in 2010 includes music from Peer Gynt as its European peacetime background music.
- The Plan: this short experimental game released by Krillbite Studio in 2013 featured a segment of The Death Of Aase from Peer Gynt.
- Shoot the Moon (iOS): this iOS game, developed by PipsqueakGames in 2014 features the Moon humming "In the Hall of the Mountain King".
The Staffordshire theme park Alton Towers has adopted "In the Hall of the Mountain King" as its unofficial theme music, and it is heard in the vast majority of their advertisements, as well as around the park.
Burger King used parts of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" piece sped up for a few of their commercials involving their mascot.
In the mid 1990s, a commercial for the animated series The Adventures of Batman and Robin provided Batman-themed lyrics to "In the Hall of the Mountain King."
In Greece (2012), the last part of "in the Hall of the Mountain King" was used in a television commercial by the Greek telecommunication company, Wind Wind
In Portugal "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is used as the backdrop to the 1st quarter 2013 "M4O" advertisement campaign from Portuguese telecom operator PT.
In 2014 Cat Products used "In the Hall of the Mountain King" in a YouTube advertising video where five Cat machines, including Excavators and Telehandlers, played a massive gave of Jenga with 600 lb wooden blocks. The object of the game was for the heavy equipment operators to remove and then reposition a stack of 27 Jenga blocks one at a time, without toppling the structure.
"The Death of Åse"
The tune was used as the melody for A Mother's Lament, sung by a grieving mother searching for her child, who does not know that the Piper has led away the children in the 1957 made-for-TV musical The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Lyrics were by Hal Stanley and Irving Taylor; the song was sung by Kay Starr.
In 1974, the Dutch progressive rock band Trace adapted this piece of music and renamed it "Death of Ace".
A fast version of "The Death of Åse" is the background music for level 8 of the video game Descent (1995).
In 2008, Dutch politician Geert Wilders released a short and very controversial film which featured "The Death of Åse" as background music. The film, "Fitna", is very critical of the religion of Islam.
Jane Birkin used the melody for "Lost Song" of the 1987 album of the same name.
Solveig's song is played by an ensemble in the anime La Corda d'Oro blue sky.
"Anitra's Dance" serves as background music in the game Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness.
"Anitra's Dance" plays a large role in the 1983 game "Mountain King".
This piece was briefly used in the 1969 film Carry on Camping when Harriet and Peter Potter leave on their tandem bicycle.
It can also be heard in two episodes of Phineas and Ferb.
It was used at the beginning of the theatrical trailer to Monsters vs. Aliens.
An excerpt was also used in the theatrical trailer to Shrek the Third.
It also features in the opening of the computer game Peggle.
It was also heard in an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
It can be also heard in the Fairy Tail episode "The Cursed Island".
In The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 15, Sheldon tries to persuade Leonard to take him to Switzerland by making him breakfast and serving in bed. Before he serves Leonard the breakfast, he plays the main theme of this piece on a recorder.
In Top Gear's African Special, the song serves as the opening theme to Part II, where a brief African landscape is shown. James May then angrily shouts "CLARKSON!!!" (upon discovering Jeremy Clarkson's overnight prank between parts I and II), humorously interrupting the song.
The Norwegian Dance No. 2 (Op.35) was used as the signature tune for the second series of The Adventure Game.
The motion picture The First Legion used Grieg's Piano Sonata in E minor as a way to introduce a Jesuit priest's prayer. The priest, Father Fulton, plays the sonata as a way of connecting himself to the other Jesuits, when "forced to revise their standards of belief after experiencing first a makeshift and later a 'real' miracle."
The Simpsons used this piece as well.
The video game Sid Meier's Civilization V uses the Piano Concerto when a European civilization is selected.
It is also cited in comedian Bill Bailey's musical comedy routines focusing on "Cockney music" as an example of cockney-themed classic music.
"Brothers, Sing On!"
The folk song "Brothers, Sing On!" ( EG 170 - in the original Norwegian "Sangerhilsen") was written by Grieg with lyrics by Sigv. Skavlan, with English language lyrics by Herbert Dalmas and/or Howard McKinney. The Mohawk-Hudson Male Chorus Association (MHMCA) presented a massed concert, with 90 male singers, at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on May 3, 2008, entitled "Brothers, Sing On!", with the titular song, which was also adopted as the organization's theme song in 1974. They had previously performed the same song in the same venue in 2002.
The University of Northern Iowa has gone so far as to name its web site and to start every concert with this song:
What if all men, everywhere in the world, could get together and sing? If there was just one song that could be sung, in a true spirit of peace and brotherhood, "Brothers, Sing On!" by Edvard Grieg would be it. "Brothers, Sing On!" is the timeless gem in many men’s choral repertoire. It has been called the ‘international anthem’ of men’s choral singing. For nearly 50 years, "Brothers, Sing On!" has been the mainstay of our Glee Club’s repertoire. We have sung it from the top of Mount Vesuvius; a glacier in the Tyrolean Alps; the ancient castles and underground slate mines of Wales; the deck of a ship on the tossing Irish Sea; the Coliseum in Rome, and a great many places in between. We salute the many excellent men’s choirs throughout the world, especially the collegiate men’s glee clubs, those ‘wandering troubadours’ whom we hope will inspire future generations of singers.—the Brothers, Sing On! web site, 
The musical Song of Norway, based very loosely on Grieg's life and using his music, was created in 1944 by Robert Wright and George Forrest and a film version was released in 1970. The 1957 made-for-TV movie musical The Pied Piper of Hamelin uses Grieg's music almost exclusively, with "In the Hall of the Mountain King" being the melody that the Piper (Van Johnson) plays to rid the town of rats.
- MNC Web Site, Edvard Grieg Remembered
- Grieg07 - English - Home
- Norveska Official web site for Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference web site
- Quartet will 'string' at the Sheldon, by Ted Taylor, Daily Nebraskan, November 14, 1997 , found at Dail Nebraskan web site
- Grieg Music web site
- Classical Music in Review , by Bernard Holland, October 1, 1991, found at NY Times official web site
- "Griegakademiets historie". Griegakademiet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- A Brief Overview of the Heathen Revival web page
- The Who dot Net web site
- 200th Anniversary celebration of Grieg
- NNdB web site
- Tucson Weekly
- Only Solitaire
- Buon Vecchio Charlie's Venite giù al fiume
- YouTube: Aunt Mary - In the Hall of the Mountain King (1971)
- Barbara Saltzman, "Griffith's 'Birth of a Nation' Reborn on Lumivision Disc," Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1991. Found at LA Times archives. Accessed May 23, 2011.
- Falkenberg, Paul (2004). "Classroom Tapes — M". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
- Costantini, Gustavo. "Leitmotif revisited". Filmsound. Retrieved 2006-05-10.
- Review of the game Manic Miner
- Midnattsol: Where Twilight Dwells, Music review
- Lutz Koepnick, The Dark Mirror: German Cinema between Hitler and Hollywood, Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism, 32, found at U.C. Press web site.
- Lolita (1998) - Cast and Credits - Yahoo! Movies
- University of Northern Iowa Varsity Men’s Glee Club (Brothers Sign On!) official web site. Accessed May 5, 2008.
- Choralnet ideas web site. Accessed May 5, 2008.
- "In 1974 'Brothers, Sing On!,' by Edvard Grieg, was adopted as the organization's theme song." See Conductor's Club web site. Accessed May 5, 2008.
- BH Singing web site. Accessed May 5, 2008.