Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen June 2, 2007
Anna Ponomareva, Great Britain
London Metropolitan University
EDVARD GRIEG AND RUSSIAN SYMBOLISM:
ANDREY BELYI’S NOTHERN SYMPHONY
Edvard Grieg never reached Russia, but his music did. Journeying farther than Grieg, his music reached Moscow where it inspired many artists. In the early 1900s, the Russia symbolist, Andrey Belyi (1880-1934) stormed Russian literature with Symphonies, an experimental four-work collection dependent on the novel idea of marrying music and literature. Fulfilling his ambitious plans, Belyi dedicated his Northern Symphony (First or Heroic) to the Norwegian composer. As well as listening to his mother’s domestic recitals, Belyi, himself a gifted pianist, enjoyed playing Grieg’s compositions and listening to his music at Moscow’s concert halls. Falling under the spell of Grieg’s Ballade (Opus 24), he decided to commemorate its beauty in words—his Northern Symphony was born. No doubt, its lyrics are Nordic and reflect Grieg’s impressionist coloratura.
Download the whole paper here
Anna Ponomareva paper 2007