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On our trip to Norway a few years ago, we visited the City of Bergen where composer and pianist Edvard Grieg 1843-1907 and his wife Nina Hagerup, 1845-1935, a soprano, lived. We visited his home at Troldhaugen dedicated to his legacy. A beautiful wood building and by the lake in the rock face the couple’s tomb. A very romantic place, quiet beauty. This visit to Troldhaugen was the high point of the visit to Bergen.

A view from the back of the house.

Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway. His parents were Alexander Grieg (1806–1875), a merchant and the British Vice-Consul in Bergen; and Gesine Judithe Hagerup (1814–1875), a music teacher. The family name, originally spelled GREIG, is associated with the Scottish Clan Gregor. After the Battle of Culloden in Scotland in 1746, Grieg’s great-grandfather, Alexander Greig (1739-1803), travelled widely before settling in Norway about 1770 and establishing business interests in Bergen. Grieg’s paternal great-great-grandparents, John (1702-1774) and Anne (1704-1784), are buried in the abandoned churchyard of the ruinous Church of St Ethernan in Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical family. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play when he was aged six. In his lifetime he became friends with Franz Liszt and Percy Grainger.

Throughout his life, Grieg’s health was impaired by a destroyed left lung and considerable deformity of his thoracic spine. He suffered from numerous respiratory infections, and ultimately developed combined lung and heart failure.

While we visited his home, we heard a beautiful concert of his music in a specially constructed concert hall concealed in the garden of his home. Tonight I found on YouTube 37 pieces played on the piano by Walter Gieseking, such beautiful music and so Scandinavian.