Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen May 30, 2007
Jorma Daniel Lünenbürger, Germany
Doctoral student, Universität der Künste, Berlin
Grieg as the “father of Finnish music”? Notes on Grieg and Sibelius with special attention to the F major Violin Sonatas
In researching themes around the music in the late 19th century in Norway and Finland it is important to know some details about the cultural and historical frame of this time. Both countries were not yet independent. Norway was part of Sweden and Finland was an autonomous part of Russia, but in both countries a cultural identity was rising. Music played an important role, and Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius were representatives for this development. Even from the first appearance of books on Sibelius, it has been common to search for a connection to Grieg. I do not want to answer general questions of cultural identities, but rather wish to analyse and compare the music of both composers. Although the main focus of the œuvre of both composers is quite different, the violin sonatas are particularly worthwhile to compare; we not only have examples from both composers, but examples in F major. While a number of authors have written about general similarities of both works, I want to particularly focus on aspects of Sibelius’s sonata. While other chamber music works of Sibelius were clearly influenced by the Viennese classical period, we find Grieg as a model for the F major violin sonata.
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Jorma Lunenburger paper 2007