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Haugtussa 'The mountain maid', Op 67
author of text
eponymous verse-novel published 1895

'Grieg: Songs' (CDA67670)
Grieg: Songs
No 1: Det syng 'The singing'  Å veit du den Draum og veit du den Song 'Oh, if you know the dream and if you know the song'
No 2: Veslemøy 'Little maid'  Ho er mager og myrk og mjå 'She is thin and dark and slender'
No 3: Blåbær-Li 'Blueberry slopes'  Nei sjå, kor det blåner her! 'Just look, how blue it is here!'
No 4: Møte 'Meeting'  Ho sit ein Sundag lengtande i Li 'She sits one Sunday longingly on the hillside'
No 5: Elsk 'Love'  Den galne Guten min Hug hev dåra 'That crazy boy has ensnared my mind'
No 6: Killingdans 'Goats' dance'  Å hipp og hoppa 'Oh, hip and hop'
No 7: Vond Dag 'Hurtful day'  Ho reknar Dag og Stund og seine Kveld 'She counts the days and hours and late evenings'
No 8: Ved Gjætle-Bekken 'By the Gjætle brook'  Du surlande Bekk 'You swirling brook'

Haugtussa 'The mountain maid', Op 67
Arne Garborg’s verse-novel Haugtussa (‘The mountain maid’; literally ‘A girl of the hill-spirits’) was published in 1895. Comprising no fewer than seventy-one individual verses, it created a deep impression on Grieg, who had first encountered Garborg’s writing a few years earlier. No sooner had Grieg read the book than he wrote to his friend Julius Röntgen about the possibility of setting parts of it: ‘I have been deep in a highly remarkable poem … Haugtussa. It is a quite brilliant book, where the music is really already composed. One just needs to write it down.’ This marriage of poetry and music is one of the miracles of the nineteenth-century song-cycle genre. Many regard Haugtussa as Grieg’s masterpiece, a claim which it is hard to resist. It is certainly one of the greatest song-cycles for the female voice ever written, revealing the composer at the very height of his powers. But Grieg’s initial intention to set parts of it went through several refining processes before he finally settled on the eight verses that make up his Op 67. This work is in many ways the culmination of various strands in Grieg’s earlier song-writing, from the relative innocence of the Op 5 set to, for example, the ‘knowing’ character of the German songs Op 48, especially Lauf der Welt. Although there is great originality in such works as the Piano Concerto, and a breadth of conception in pieces like the G minor String Quartet, Grieg’s sheer range as a song-writer—from the shortest settings, folk-like and immediate, to the depth of distinctive inspiration that runs through every bar of Haugtussa—places him without question among the finest masters of the genre.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2008

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67670 track 20
Ved Gjætle-Bekken 'By the Gjætle brook'
Recording date
12 December 2007
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Grieg: Songs (CDA67670)
    Disc 1 Track 20
    Release date: July 2008
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