Presented at the Grieg Seminar in Bergen 27 October 2017
Håkon Asheim, Norway
Ole Bull Akademiet
The original Slåtter used in Grieg’s op. 72
(Slåtter / Peasant Dances for piano, 1902/03)
The Hardanger fiddle player Knut Dahle (1834–1921) from Tinn, Telemark is known as the source of the seventeen slåtter (slått, pl. slåtter = instrumental folk music tune) in Edvard Grieg’s opus 72. There are some fascinating historical facts underlying Grieg’s opus, among them Dahle’s many letters to Grieg over a period of thirteen years (1888–1901) asking him to come and write down his tunes, and then the solution Grieg found: to send travel money to Dahle so he could visit composer and violinist Johan Halvorsen in Kristiania and get the tunes transcribed. But all this is thoroughly documented in the literature, so this paper will concentrate on the folk music background and the light it sheds on the Grieg Peasant Dances. What do we know about the original slåtter as examples of Hardanger fiddle music, and how much of their essence shines through in Grieg’s writing?
Download the whole paper here
Paper Asheim 2017