Peer Gynt (Grieg)

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Peer Gynt, Op. 23 is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play of the same name, written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo).

Later, in 1888 and 1891, Grieg extracted eight movements to make two four-movement suites: Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and Suite No. 2, Op. 55. Some of these movements have received coverage in popular culture; see Grieg's music in popular culture.

Original score, Op. 23[edit]

For many years, the suites were the only parts of the music that were available, as the original score was not published until 1908, one year after Grieg's death, by Johan Halvorsen.[1]

Various recordings have been made of this music. Some recordings that claim to contain the complete incidental music have 33 selections;[2] the recording conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud is split into 49 items.[3] Both recordings include several verses from the drama, read by actors.

The original score contains 26 movements:[1] Movements indicated in bold were extracted by Grieg into two suites.

  • Act I
    • Prelude: At the Wedding (I bryllupsgården)
    • Norwegian Bridal Procession in passing (Brudefølget drager forbei)
    • Halling & Springar (Halling og Springdans)
  • Act II
    • Prelude: The Rape of the Bride / Peer and Ingrid (Bruderovet / Ingrids klage)
    • Peer Gynt and the Herd-Girls (Peer Gynt og seterjentene)
    • Peer Gynt and the Woman in Green (Peer Gynt og den grønnkledde)
    • Great folk may be known by the mounts... (På ridestellet skal storfolk kjennes)
    • In the Hall of the Mountain King (I Dovregubbens hall)
    • Dance of the Mountain King's Daughter (Dans av Dovregubbens datter)
    • Peer Gynt hunted by the trolls (Peer Gynt jages av troll)
    • Peer Gynt and the Boyg (Peer Gynt og Bøygen)
  • Act III
    • Prelude: Deep Inside the Pine Forest
    • Solveig's Song
    • The Death of Åse (Åses død)
  • Act IV
    • Prelude: Morning Mood (Morgenstemning)
    • The Thief and the Receiver (Tyven og heleren)
    • Arabian Dance (Arabisk dans)
    • Anitra's Dance (Anitras dans)
    • Peer Gynt's Serenade (Peer Gynts serenade)
    • Peer Gynt and Anitra (Peer og Anitra)
    • Solveig's Song (Solveigs sang)
    • Peer Gynt at the Statue of Memnon (Peer Gynt ved Memnonstøtten)
  • Act V
    • Prelude: Peer Gynt's Homecoming. Stormy Evening on the Sea (Peer Gynts hjemfart. Stormfull aften ved kysten)
    • Shipwreck (Skipsforliset)
    • Solveig sings in the hut (Solveig synger i hytten)
    • Night Scene (Nattscene)
    • Whitsun Hymn (Pinsesalme)
    • Solveig's Cradle Song (Solveigs vuggevise)

The complete score of the incidental music includes several songs and choral pieces. The complete score was believed to be lost until the 1980s and has only been performed in its entirety since then.[4] (See the article on Ibsen's play for a list of notable productions, including concert performances of the incidental music.)

Suite No. 1, Op. 46[edit]

All files courtesy of Musopen. Performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra

Problems playing these files? See media help.
  1. Morning Mood (Morgenstemning)
  2. The Death of Åse (Åses død)
  3. Anitra's Dance (Anitras dans)
  4. In the Hall of the Mountain King (I Dovregubbens hall)

Suite No. 2, Op. 55[edit]

  1. The Abduction of the Bride. Ingrid's Lament (Bruderovet. Ingrids klage)
  2. Arabian Dance (Arabisk dans)
  3. Peer Gynt's Homecoming (Stormy Evening on the Sea) (Peer Gynts hjemfart (Stormfull aften på havet))
  4. Solveig's Song (Solveigs sang)

(Originally, the second suite had a fifth number, The Dance of the Mountain King's Daughter, but Grieg withdrew it.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Edvard Grieg – Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis, ed. by Dan Fog, Kirsti Grinde and Øyvind Norheim. Henry Litolffs Verlag Frankfurt/Main Leipzig London New York 2008
  2. ^ Classics Online
  3. ^ BIS Records
  4. ^ Jeal, Erica (2001-08-11). "Prom 27: Peer Gynt". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Archived from the original on 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 

External links[edit]