Yvonne Wasserloos – paper 2007

Presented at the Grieg Conference in Bergen May 30, 2007

Yvonne Wasserloos, Germany
Dr., Lecturer for Musicology
Institute of Musicology, Robert-Schumann-Hochschule Düsseldorf

“Hearing through eyes, seeing through ears.” Nation and Landscape within the Works of Niels W. Gade, Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen
I. Landscape, Nation and Music
II. Niels W. Gade – Landscape and Nordic Tone
III. Edvard Grieg – The Power of Landscape
IV. Carl Nielsen – Nature and Landscape
I. Landscape, Nation and Music
Talking about music and landscape does not mean talking about music and geography. The expression “landscape” is multi-dimensional. Therefore the following reflections do not in first place refer to physical landscape, which is closely related to nature. They refer to cultural landscape and its relation to music. “Cultural landscape” means nature as it is interpreted by man and his intellect. Thus the term refers to a cultivated nature, which comes into being when it is connected with legends, sagas and fairy tales for example and transfigured to a mythical or poetic and, most importantly, unique landscape. Well-known are legends of water spirits and sprites in the sea or trolls and giants in the mountains. A means of picturing landscape musically is folk music, which is closely linked to it by being played in the mountains, in the woods or by the sea.  Especially in the North of Europe, as a result of the climatic conditions and the lower population density, the natural surroundings are far more present than in urban Middle Europe. The deep embedding of natural experience has remained a characteristic of Northern literature, painting and music as a mirror of nature since the 19th century to the present day.

A shorter version of this paper was published in Studia Musicologica Norvegica nr. 33, 2007 (Universitetsforlaget, Oslo)

Download the whole paper here
Yvonne Wasserloos paper 2007

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