This morning we are going just outside the city limits of Bergen to Nordasvannen, to visit the home of Norway’s famous composer, Edvard Haverup Grieg, who was born in 1843. The bus finally came to a stop at a little lane that went up the mountain. Here we had to get out and walk the rest of the way to the house. The name of his summer house was Troldhaugen or Troll House and as you walk up the path surrounded by huge trees to one side, you can just imagine the trolls peeking out around the trees to get a glimpse of you. Grieg wrote some of his best music here and one of his most favorites, Hall of the Mountain King.…….so as we walk up the hill just click on the music at the top of the photo and you’ll get a feel for Edvard Grieg!
You can see from the sign, that the Grieg’s had quite the nice place on the mountainside. He composed here in the summers and then traveled the world in the winters doing concerts.
We’re getting closer!
Ah! Here it is at last! Isn’t it charming? Well worth the stretch of the legs in the rain!
and getting closer……….
And a view from the top…………love the grass/sod on the rooftops of the garden sheds!
and Edvard can still be found in the garden………..
It would be nice to sit here on a sunny day……but they get 260 days of rain here so this might be the most common view!
Now, let’s go in and meet the guide…….I love a guide that shares all the juicy life bits, don’t you? Edvard Grieg had lots of juicy bits………… He started playing the piano at age six and by his early teens he was extraordinary. At an early age, Ole Bull, who was a famous Norwegian violinist himself and related by marriage to Grieg, encouraged his parents to send Grieg to Leipzig Conservatory in Germany to further his studies. Ending his studies there, he stated, “I left Leipzig Conservatory just as stupid as I entered it.” He was his own man and would make his own mark and wanted to write and promote Norwegian Folk music to represent the people of Norway. During this time Norway was part of Sweden and Sweden was known as the big fish in the pond. Here, I must also share with you his relationship with Ole Bull, who played a significant part in Grieg’s life at the time. Ole Bull was the rock star of his day. He was famous for his concerts, not only in Europe, but the United States as well. All the women loved him and he had large followings of groupies……so Grieg liked going along and playing at these concerts as well, and they became quite the item. Ole Bull was married to a French woman, Alexandrine Félicie Villeminoand, and together they had six children, but for the most part she stayed in Bergen with the children, as Bull made hay with all the ladies around the world. Grieg eventually thought he should marry too and he chose to marry his first cousin, Nina Hagerup. The three of them traveled together for many years ( the guide revealing there was kind of a threesome going on) Finally, Nina had had enough of the fun and games and left Grieg. To reconcile with Nina, Grieg promised her a permanent home and built, Troldhaugen, and promised to only travel with her. The end of Ole Bull.
I can’t wait to go in this house, because it is furnished as it was when the Grieg’s lived there.
How about that for a staircase?
Here is Edvard and Nina. Nina was a singer………….
I really liked the old photos in the house…..this one showing the landscape back in the day…..
And, here is Edvard Grieg in his later years at the house.
They liked to have concerts here too………..
This is how you keep the drink warmed……..
This house had lovely displays of a bygone time………look at the carving on those chairs!
I have no idea what this piece is, but I’m sure the guide must have said, and I didn’t get it written down. Do you have an idea? If you do, please, let me know……….It looks like a serving tray……….maybe for oysters? I also liked the ceramic basket of hatching chicks……Was that to hold boiled eggs?
Here is the silver serving tray……..similar to the other one……..
Plenty of space in this house………
I had to take a photo of this painting ……….I think it is the path up here, way back when………The Troll Path.
Walking back to the bus, we get a look of the new homes now at the bottom of the mountain……….
Perfect in every way!
Even the older ones hidden behind the gardens…..
Edvard Grieg is to Norway what Shakespeare is to England: his country’s greatest son.
Grieg died in 1907, in Bergen, on his way to a concert out of the country. The extensive touring with innumerable concerts, combined with a weak health condition, put an end to his life. He died of exhaustion. Ole Bull’s wife, Alexandrine, died in 1862 and in 1868 he married 20-year-old, Sara Chapman Thorpe, an American, he had had a relationship with since she was seventeen. Bull was sixty-three. They had two children together, but she spent most of her time in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Bull had built a house for her. When Sara died in 1911, she left all his money to a Middle Eastern Sect and her children spent years in court trying to re-coup the money. All in all, these folks were very talented and did their own thing, making their stories more intriguing, I’d say! Just like the Hollywood folks today!
Check out Spotify to listen to the works of Edvard Grieg…….now that I have been to Troldhaugen and know more about his life there, I can just picture him writing and playing the piano there! Fabulous!
I am glad we visited Troldhaugen and learned more about Grieg and his works. Now every time I hear Hall of the Mountain King, I’ll remember walking up that mountain!
Much thanks to Kevin Macleod for letting me download the music! See you next at the pier of Bergen!
Hall of the Mountain King by Kevin MacLeod | http://incompetech.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
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