Composers / Edvard Grieg / Routes
Trasa The journey around northern Zealand
In the summer of 1865, Grieg set off with his friends Christian Frederik Emil Horneman (1840–1906) and Benjamin Feddersen (1823–1902) on a ten-day excursion around the northern part of Zealand (from 31 July to 9 August). They travelled partly by carriage, but mostly on foot, and they visited the most beautiful parts of the island, from Humlebæk, Frederiksborg and Helsinge, through Tilsvilde and Frederikshøj, to Fredensborg. Grieg admired the Danish castles of Frederiksborg and Fredensborg, the picturesque ruins of the stronghold of Søborg, Asserbo and the mythical castle of Gurre, as well as the beautiful Lake Esrum and the ancient Grib Forest. He described in his diary all the details of that journey, especially the landscapes, the weather, difficulties connected with travelling, the food and his longing for his beloved Nina. It seems that Grieg was experiencing such great delight in the Scandinavian countryside for the first time, something that would later influence his fondness for trips into various regions of Norway. The trip must have made a great impression on him, given that forty years later he recalled in a letter to his friend Gottfred Matthison-Hansen ‘that exquisite time of youth, when the air and the beech forest of beautiful Zealand were filled with music and solitude’. Grieg’s diary also contains remarkable descriptions of sunsets and sea views. ‘The view from Frederikshøj is one of the most magnificent that I’ve ever seen. Endless swathes of heathland on the high hills and in the deep vales – similar to those that you can see in the high Norwegian mountains – surrounded by the waves of the Kattegat and a sky pregnant with the most terrible storms and made even more interesting by piercing flashes of light – all those elements play a role in the evocation of that picturesque scenery’.