Edvard Grieg's prelude to the fourth act of Henrik Ibsen's “dramatic poem” Peer Gynt (1867/76), “Morning Mood,” is among the best-loved passages in the repertoire. Commonly assumed to invoke Norway's iconic western fjords, the prelude in fact sets the stage for Ibsen's eponymous wanderer, washed up on the Moroccan coast. Commentators have recently argued for a more nuanced and multilayered response to the sense of place in Grieg's score, but the idea of “mood,” and its relationship with landscape, is central to Grieg's work in other ways and extends well beyond his famous collaboration with Ibsen. This article examines the significance of mood in one of Grieg's last works, the piano collection Stemninger (“Moods”), op. 73, and assesses the term's significance and its association with notions of landscape, absence, agency, and displacement.
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