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Music Of Norwegian Fairy Tales This Saturday On Classical 91.7

Witches, troll kings, and yes, even a troll princess


They probably didn’t realize it at the time, but anyone who grew up watching the classic Warner Bros. or Tom and Jerry cartoons may have had their very first introduction to Edvard Grieg’s  Peer Gynt while eating cereal in their pajamas on a Saturday morning. 

This Saturday night, Classical 91.7 brings these animated melodies to the airwaves for this week’s broadcast of SymphonyCast, when Kristjan Jaervi leads the Minnesota Orchestra in excerpts from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt. 

Of course, Grieg wasn’t intending for the music to be set to animation. (Especially since it was composed around 1867, long before anyone even knew what television was.) It was actually written for Henryk Ibsen’s play of the same name. Based mostly on Norwegian fairy tales, the plot of Peer Gynt is complicated. In a nutshell, Peer was a loner whose lifetime of selfishness and avoidance caught up with him in the end.  With a long character list that includes trolls, witches, gnomes, and a sphinx, “surreal” was often a word that the critics used to describe the story.

It may be nearly 150 years after the play was written, but the fairy tales upon which it is based are timeless. So is the music they inspired.

Symphony Cast airs this Saturday night at 8:00 on Houston Public Media, Classical 91.7. Cereal and pajamas are optional.

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