Grieg - På Skogstien
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
"In Autumn" "Im Herbst", op 11
by Edvard Grieg
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Ole Kristian Ruud, conductor
Grieg quoted in Benestad
“I was educated in the German school I studied in Leipzig, and musically speaking I am completely German. But then I went to Copenhagen and it…struck me that I could develop myself further only on a national foundation. It was our Norwegian folk tunes that showed me the way. In Germany, the critics treated me badly because I didn’t fit into the categories into which composers are commonly placed. In Germany it is often said: ‘He Norwegianizes!” [Er norwegert!] It is true that I draw on the Norwegian fold tune, but even Mozart and Beethoven would not have become what they did had they not had the old masters as models. The proud German folk song was a foundation for old masters, and without folk music no art music is possible. I realized this clearly.
And then they [the German critics] say: ‘He Norwegianizes!’… I know very well why my music sounds altogether too national to German ears, but I surely must also taken into consideration the fact that a good deal of my individuality is due to my Germanization, for it is not to be found in the Nordic national character. I believe nonetheless that there is a capability in the Norwegian people to grasp this harmony—indeed, that I perhaps lies there hidden in an enigmatic way. As our poets again and again create works based on material from the sagas, so also the composer can and must search out the musical sources for his art”
This song, “På Skogstien” (Autumn Song) is based on this idea and inspired by Norwegian folk songs.