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De kast, Huldren gjør med Kohalen: Om kjønn og andre musikalske identiteter i den norske komponisten Agathe Backer Grøndahls "Huldreslaat"
University of Guthenburg, Department for Culture, Esthetics and Media. (Musicology)
2005 (Norwegian)In: Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning, ISSN 0081-9816, Vol. 86, 49-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

"Huldreslaat, Norwegian music, gender and Agathe Backer Grøndahl or Huldra’s toss with her cow tail?"

Starting out from contemporary reception materials, the chapter elaborates and analyses Backer Grøndahl’s piano piece Huldreslaat (1887). It received its first performance with the composer herself at the piano in 1887. By virtue of being both in and as gender, national and international discourse, Huldreslaat is an attempt on Backer Grøndahl’s side to tread a thin red line, transforming traditional music and tales about a lovesick pagan muse ("huldra") into art music: The irresistibly beautiful huldra appears in the wilderness seducing lonely Christian men with her virtuoso music. Their only chance to escape is to hold her cow tail in a firm grip. The critics brought the connotations of the work’s title and Backer Grøndahl’s personal appearance to bear on the inherent meanings of her performance and the work. Attached to this composition’s "masque" is eroticism: This was ridiculed in the satirical magazine Vikingen. In this way, Huldreslaat illustrates dangers lurking in mythic allusions in as far as critics can be fatally attracted into appreciating a composition more for its composer pianist’s radiant, blonde and seducing persona than this piece of work’s originality and expressiveness. Ahistoric perspectives do not pene­trate the ideological and social complexity in the critics’ understanding of Backer Grøndahl's alleged huldre-like femininity. The Swedish press discussed the "Norwegian" and "cosmopolitan" styles in Huldreslaat in relation to Edvard Grieg’s music and the Mountain King’s motto in Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. Gender, as well as Norwegian and international musical identities are fundamentally inter­twined and interdependent in the work, its context, and reception materials pre­sented in this dissertation. This character piece’s "Norwegianness" depends on the "masque" or the "producerly text" and the listeners or amateur per­for­mers attitudes towards the composition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Svenska Samfundet för Musikforsknng , 2005. Vol. 86, 49-66 p.
Keyword [en]
Agathe Backer Grøndahl. Music, gender and genius; femininity; music historical knowledge and canonisation; gender and genre; gender and "Norwegian sound", musical analysis and performativity, "Huldreslaat"
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29941OAI: diva2:236387
Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-09-22 Last updated: 2009-09-22

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