Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen May 31, 2007
Patrick Dinslage, Germany
Professor, Universität der Künste, Berlin
Mozart in Romantic Guise
Mozart was without a doubt one of Edvard Grieg’s favourite composers. When his mother gave lessons or entertained family and friends for an evening of music, it was the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which made the greatest impression on him. As he grew older, Mendelssohn and Schumann became his idols – without usurping Mozart’s prominence among his favourite composers. The thirteen-year-old Edvard Grieg, a pupil at the Tanks school in Bergen, was given a Mozart biography by his Czech music teacher Ferdinand Joseph Schediwy on the occasion of Mozart’s hundredth anniversary in 1856. In the course of his four years of studies at the music conservatoire in Leipzig, Grieg was required to write a string quartet. He felt that his tuition so far had not adequately prepared him for such a task, and approached the assignment by first studying the quartets of Mozart and Beethoven. At a concert he gave on returning to Bergen as a graduate musician he performed piano trios by Mozart together with his cellist brother John, an the famed violinist Ole Bull.
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Patrick Dinslage paper 2007