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IV. Air

from Holberg's Time - Suite, Op. 40 by Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg was born in 1843 in Bergen, Norway and died there in 1907.

Grieg was an accomplished pianist as well as a composer. In 1884, he wrote and performed Holbergiana, Op. 61, to commemorate the 200th birthday of Baron Ludvig Holberg, the person widely regarded to be the founder of modern Danish and Norwegian literature. Soon after the premiere of Holbergiana, Op. 61, Grieg decided to orchestrate the work for a large ensemble of strings, naming it Fra Holbergs tid, Op. 40, known in English as From Holberg’s Time- Suite, Op. 40.

Grieg loved writing works for a large, symphonic body of strings, rather than the smaller-sized string orchestra. This allowed him to divide each section of players into many separate parts or lines, an orchestration technique known as divisi.

Air is the fourth of five movements that make up From Holberg’s Time- Suite, Op. 40. Sorrow was no stranger to Grieg. After the funeral of his one-year-old daughter, Grieg shared that his art gave him something to live for. His touching portrayal of sorrow and hope in Air demonstrates why Edvard Grieg is considered one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era.

Worksheet for Primary classrooms

Step 1. Watch the video to learn about the Viola

Step 2. Listen to the TSO recording of Air

Step 3. Answer 10 questions

Step 4. Download a Word Search

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