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Love Letters To Girl Shed New Light On Composer

April 02, 1985| From Reuters

BERGEN, Norway — Ardent love letters just published here from Edvard Grieg to a young concert pianist shed new light on the 19th-Century Norwegian composer's passionate temperament.

Grieg wrote the letters in 1896, when he was 52, to Bella Edwards, a little-known musician believed to be American or Danish. She was 17 or 18 at the time.

"He was a passionate man, very un-Norwegian in many respects. Perhaps it was his Scottish ancestry," Reidun Kayser, a Grieg historian, said.

Grieg was married during his correspondence with the young pianist. But historians in Bergen, where he was born in 1843 and died in 1907, said his eye for pretty women was no secret.

Grieg's career was at its peak when he wrote the six letters, published by a library in this west Norwegian port.

The library bought the letters from a Danish antique collector in 1960, but the decision to publish them was only made after a lengthy battle that eventually split along party political lines.

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