Road trip 18: Troldhaugen

As all good things have to come to and end, sadly so did our road trip. On our way home from Bergen we stopped at the home of the famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen. I have gotten the information below from the museums site linked above. Edvard Hagerup Grieg (b. 15 June 1843, d. 4 September 1907). He was married in Copenhagen 11 June 1867 to his first cousin Nina Hagerup. They had one child: Alexandra Grieg (1868 – 1869) dead from meningitis. Among his famous compositions are: Piano Concerto in a minor, Incidental music for Ibsen’s drama “Peer Gynt” (Morning Mood, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Solveig’s Song a.o.), Lyric Pieces for piano, Holberg Suite, Last Spring

Troldhaugen was built in 1885, and Edvard and his wife lived there the last 22 summers of Edvard Grieg’s life. Troldhaugen became a museum in 1928 and includes Grieg’s Villa, the composer’s hut and the Grieg couple’s gravesite as well as a modern museum building and the concert hall Troldsalen, a chamber music hall.

Grieg referred to the Villa as his “best opus so far”. The ground floor of the house is open to the public and consists of a Memory Room filled with objects from key events in Grieg’s life, the original spacious dining room, a veranda and a sitting room where you can explore Grieg’s very own Steinway piano from 1892. The piano is still playable and is often used for concerts, sometimes even recordings. The ornamented veranda was turned into an enclosed winter garden in 1906 and a stained glass window was inserted just above the balcony door. The red rose ornament adds a poetic touch to the villa, which in its idiosyncratic way expresses the taste and spirit of Nina and Edvard Grieg.

In the house, constant visitors and noise from the kitchen interrupted the absolute quiet Grieg needed in order to work. This is why he in 1891 had the composer’s hut built down by the lake, so he could be alone with his musical ideas. Grieg used his composer’s hut often when he stayed at Troldhaugen. He went down there every day, locked himself in and tried his best to work. It wasn’t always easy for a composer who was easily distracted. An unfamiliar sound or a boat rowing on the lake was enough to break his concentration.

Nina and Edvard Grieg’s tomb is located in the mountainside facing the lake. One evening when Edvard Grieg and his best friend Frants Beyer were out fishing on the lake, the last rays of the sunset hit that spot of rock. “There I would like to rest forever” said Grieg.After Grieg’s death, his cousin and architect, Schak Bull, designed the tomb. It is simple, yet poignant, with Grieg’s name chiselled in runes.

We had an enjoyable visit to Troldhaugen and enjoyed the walk in the sunshine before we got back in the car and continued on our journey home after a long and very nice road trip.

34 thoughts on “Road trip 18: Troldhaugen

  1. Such a lovely stop on your way. Being a musician would give you a unique perspective on this. I think many creative people have issues with distraction. I have always wanted a separate studio to work in where no one could see the messes I make. Many writers have little cottages like that as well. Such a lovely spot to work.

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