Work: Wedding day at Trolhaugen
About This Work
There are 66 pieces in ten volumes comprising Grieg's Lyric Pieces, and Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is probably the most popular work in the group. Actually, its music does not quite depict a wedding day; rather, it represents the happy recollection
of the composer and his wife Nina's 25th wedding anniversary celebration, which took place in 1892 at their residence at Troldhaugen (Troll Hill), named by the couple after trolls, large (not, as is often thought, small) creatures associated with Norwegian myth. The mood of the music is bright and utterly joyous in the outer sections, but more intimate and nostalgic in the central panel. The work opens with a march-like theme that is instantly striking in its playful, almost fantasy-like character. A rising rhythmic figure adds to the fun and leads to a return of the main theme. The middle section is dominated by a four-note motif that dreamily and gently descends, imparting a sentimental sense, but verging on sadness. The main theme is restated and the rhythmic figure reappears and builds to an utterly joyous ending. While this six-minute piece is light and colorful, making little attempt at profundity, it is nevertheless both memorable and masterful and certainly one of Grieg's finest keyboard creations.
-- Robert Cummings
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