From Songs to Psalms: Grieg’s Cosmopolitan Aesthetic

  • Ryan R. Weber
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


Despite his important status in Denmark, many critics and scholars alike have proclaimed that Otto Benzon was not an effective choice of poet for Grieg’s songs, Opp. 69 and 70. This chapter argues that the composer’s decision was not as puzzling as it has been portrayed. On the contrary, by situating these works within the context of the cosmopolitan conditions outlined in Chap.  2, their significance comes into better focus. This chapter thereby offers an analytical survey of the experiments Grieg generated for the purpose of interweaving rich layers of national and cosmopolitan identities. It also demonstrates how techniques such as chromatic juxtapositioning and tetrachordal transformation, which were developed as musical analogues for literary practices, became common strategies for cosmopolitanizing national sources in his late songs and last choral works, Four Psalms, Op. 74.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan R. Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Misericordia UniversityDallasUSA

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