I eyed the empty mic and stool in a corner under the 20-foot-tall windows.
The hot nightspot was in an ancient, converted mill, as was the rest of the pedestrian-only street. My wife called the music usually heard there “folk for hipsters”. It had hosted nationally known acts.
The lone stool looked so vulnerable, sitting on its own. I walked over to it and offered a few words of comfort to the poor piece of furniture.
I sat, picked up my guitar and said, “I wrote a few songs. I hope you enjoy…”
Edvard had the sound in his head, but how was he to get it onto parchment? The Norwegian Hardanger fiddle had five resonant strings that gave a sparkle to every note, picking up the harmonics of the melody and amplifying it in a way to create an ethereal fairytale effect.
To ensure he had the sound just right, he invited a group of folk musicians to an early rehearsal of his incidental music for the folktale inspired play.
At the end, a stony-faced man turned to him and said, “It is pretty good, but perhaps a bit fast.”
A few comments – the instrument in the photo is a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. Besides the inlays in the wood, you can see the difference between a violin with all of those tuning pegs – besides the four violin strings, there are four (as in this case) or five resonant strings.
Edvard Grieg was highly influenced by Norwegian folk music. He tried to recreate the sound of traditional instruments, including the Hardanger fiddle. This can really be seen in the incidental music he wrote for the play “Peer Gynt”.
Liszt was a champion of Grieg. One time when they met, Liszt sight played Grieg’s piano concerto, including an on-the-spot transcription of the full orchestra along with the solo piano part! Hint, no other pianist could sight read an orchestral score, and the piano solo on its own was difficult for most pianists. After the applause of Liszt’s small audience died down, Grieg suggested that he had played the first movement a little faster than it should have been…
OK, it took more words to explain the joke than to tell it ;)
Yes, the title is a play on that Rolling Stones song… And, yes, the MC is a famous cartoon character turned movie star, played by many people from Jack to Heath to Joaquin (another Jack?) (of course, everyone loves Cesar…)