Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra: Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1—'Morning Mood'

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra perform Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, opus 46 ("Morning Mood' or Morgenstimmung), which Grieg composed as a piece of incidental music in 1875 for Henrik Ibsen's 1876 stage adaptation of his 1867 poetic work of the same name, Peer Gynt, itself loosely based on a well-known Norwegian fairy-tale.


When Henrik Ibsen was looking for incidental music for his play, Peer Gynt (1876), he looked to fellow Norwegian, Edvard Grieg. In response, Grieg composed a musical score of about 90 minutes duration for Ibsen's five-act play in verse. The play, which has 40 scenes, is a combination of folkloric fantasy and harsh realism.

More than 10 years later, in 1888 and in 1891, Grieg extracted two suites of four pieces each from the incidental music, which became opus 46 and opus 55, respectively, and which became very popular as concert pieces.

"Morning Mood" is played in Act 1V, scene 4 in the Ibsen drama. To set the scene, don't think of cold Scandinavian winters, but of a sunrise in the Moroccan desert where the hero, Peer Gynt, is stranded after his companions have made off with his yacht.