Nina Grieg. Artist and Artist's WifeHaavet, Inger Elisabeth: Nina Grieg. Kunstner og kunstnerhustru.
Nina Grieg (1845-1935) was one of the most conspicuous women in public life for more than three decades of the 19th century. She was Edvard Grieg’s cousin, and also his wife of forty years. For a similar length of time she performed as a singer with her husband as accompanyist. He wrote the songs, she interpreted them.
Their story is one of creativity, life and love, and exemplifies the romantic attitude to music and the romantic era in musical history. Of his wife Edvard wrote: "I loved a young girl with a wonderful voice and an equally wonderful delivery. This girl became my wife and has remained my lifelong companion to this very day. For me she has become - and I venture to say this - the only true interpreter of my songs".
This is a biography with an appeal reaching far beyond the ranks of musical aficionados. It gives an intimate insight into the life of this musical marriage, in prosperity and adversity, and into the cultural life of their era. The history of these two artists is unique and engrossing: a testimony to a particular epoch, and to extraordinary individuals. The author conveys this in a sound and well formulated way. In spite of being a re-written version of Haavet’s doctoral thesis, the book is untainted by professional jargon. Quite the reverse: this could well serve as a standard work for lay and learned alike.
Inger Elisabeth Haavet is an historian and women’s studies researcher. She has written several books, the present one being an elaboration of her doctoral thesis on Nina Grieg.
Publisher: H. Aschehoug & Co (W. Nygaard) 1998
439 pages, hardcover