Edvard Grieg: Music from Peer Gynt

I lived across the street from my elementary school. Beside it stood the junior high school, which was a big red brick monstrosity that my mother, who was born in 1915, also attended. One day, in first or second grade, our teacher marched us from our classroom into the old gymnasium of the junior high school to watch a puppet show. It was a production of “Jason and the Golden Fleece.” Puppets always unnerved me, and these were just as grotesque as any I’ve ever seen, but the production had one saving grace–the music. The puppeteer had chosen the incidental music from Peer Gynt. Over the years, I’ve heard “In the Hall of The Mountain King” so many times that it became almost hackneyed. Then one day, it came on the local classical station, and my two daughters perked up. Suddenly, I remembered the excitement that permeates that music and how masterfully it builds from a quiet dance into a thundering cataclysm. They loved the piece and were happy to learn I owned a copy of it. Though Unamuno said “to fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be,” some pieces of music you can listen to forever.


About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

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