0ur Date 0ur Reference
Enquiries to
Jon-Åge Øyslebø
Your Date
27 March 2003

Your Reference
Sons of Norway Grda-Varden Lodge 4-21
c/o President Glenn L Fontaine
1912 6th Av N
Grand Forks ND 58203-3008

Dear Friends of Norway:

       On behalf of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, and thanks to a generous grant from Lockheed Martin Corporation, it is my pleasure to present to your Lodge library, the enclosed books, Edvard Grieg: Letters to Colleagues and Friends and Edvard Grieg: Diaries, Articles, Speeches. These are not books about Grieg: They are books by him. Together they contain in translation over 500 of the great Norwegian composer's most important letters, his complete diaries, and all of the articles and speeches from his hand that the editors have been able to locate.

       Both books make particularly timely reading just now as we prepare to celebrate the centennial of Norway's independence from Sweden in 1905. Grieg's adult life coincided almost exactly with Norway's struggle for independence, and his letters from those tumultuous years are filled with references to the people and events that determined the final outcome. On December 31 of that fateful year, he wrote in his diary: "Now the year 1905 the great year-goes to rest, and I part from it with deep gratitude because I experienced it! And yet, without the youthful dreams that this year has made real, my art would not have had its proper background. The longings have transformed my personal experiences into tones.... The lifelong struggle has been the greatest good fortune both for the individual and for the nation. Freedom is: The struggle for freedom!"

       Perhaps it goes without saying that these books will also be of special interest to those of you who are already familiar with the beautiful music of the man who remains to this day the most renowned Norwegian composer of all time. Grieg's correspondence with Henrik Ibsen and others during the time when he was writing the famous "Peer Gynt" music, for example, is a case in point. These letters, including Ibsen's letters to Grieg, make fascinating reading.

       The books are the fruit of many years of devoted work by Professor Finn Benestad of the University of Oslo and Professor William H. Halverson of The Ohio State University. I hope you will bring them to the attention of your members and encourage them to read them. Enjoy!


Jon-Åge Øyslebø
Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs

P.S. Professor Halverson often presents illustrated talks on Grieg to Sons of Norway lodges and other interested groups. If you wish to explore the possibility of such a program for your lodge, you may emaif him directly at halverson.1@osu.edu.


Postal Address: Office Address: Telephone: Telefax: Web site: E-mail: 2720 - 34th Street N W 2720 - 34th Street N.W. +1 202 333 6000 +1 202 337 0870 http://www.norway.org emb.washington@mfa.no

Postal Address:
2720 - 34th Street N. W.
Washington, D.C.
20008-2714   USA
Office Address:
2720 - 34th Street N. W.
Washington, D.C.
20008-2714   USA
+1 202 333 6000
+1 202 337 0870
Web site: