Grieg - 'Tak for dit Råd' and 'Jeg giver mit Digt til Våre'n
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Kirsten Flagstad, soprano; Mélodie de E.Grieg enregistrée en 1948
This next song beautifully illustrates Grieg’s relationship with nature and the way he reflected nature in his songs through text-painting. He uses symbols such as birds chirping in musical trills and other embellishments, heart beats in the bass lines, and the wind in sweeping melodic lines. Every note or pattern has a specific purpose in the song.
Grieg had a deep love for nature and found inspiration which he often recorded in his diaries. On one occasion by the sea, he relates a pivotal realization he had about composing:
“How aptly Hans Christian Andersen has captured a mood like the one that enveloped nature in that moment when he wrote: ‘For roar on, seething ocean, your giant breakers raise; the tempest, you and I my God will praise!’
“I was filled with the greatness and truth of these words. But I could not neglect also searching in my art for a way to express the wild music in the roar of the sea. Alas, my search was in vain. I sensed the utter impossibility of expressing these mighty sounds in musical form. There was in this rushing and roaring something so boundless that it struck me as presumptuous to consider even for a moment the idea of trying to reproduce it.
“But here, too, I found consolation: The artist’s task is not to reproduce the physical event itself, but rather to create a reflection of the feelings awakened by that event; if this is done with brilliance, the impression is equally divine despite the absence of those overpowering effects that belong to nature alone” (Grieg Diary of 1865, qtd in Grieg Diaries, Articles, and Speeches 13)
Grieg accomplishes this, especially in songs such as: “God Morgen” (Good Morning), “Jeg giver mit Digt til Våren” (I Give My Heart to the Spring), and “Tak for dit Råd” (Say What You Will). All three are compositions that emphasize the wonder and joy of nature in relation to the human spirit.