Donald Macleod examines the relationship between Grieg and his wife Nina. Although it became strained to breaking point, their musical partnership always remained intact.
By the 1880s, the strain in Grieg's relationship with his wife Nina was beginning to tell. In recent years, Grieg had had a series of extra-marital affairs, and at the beginning of 1886 he nearly left Nina for a 26-year old painter. It can't have helped the stability of their relationship that Edvard and Nina spent much of their lives living out of suitcases, travelling and giving concerts throughout Europe. But for all their marital difficulties, the husband and wife team made the perfect musical partnership. Nina was both his inspiration and the ideal interpreter of his songs. Donald Macleod introduces Grieg's only song cycle - the folk-inspired Haugtussa, and the ever-popular suite for string orchestra dedicated to the 18th century dramatist Ludwig Holberg.