Grieg Rapsodi, Norvall Skreien, 6¾ by 9¾ inches, sewn, hardbound, 182 pages, in Norwegian with English summary, Edvard Grieg Museum, Bergen, Norway, 2003, ISBN 82-91738-23-8. 445 NOK (approximately $65 postpaid) from Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugen 65, 5232 Paradis-Bergen, Norway.

 

This book is a delight for thematic collectors with an interest in music on stamps. It is subtitled “A Philatelic encounter with Edvard Grieg and music on stamps.” It was published in conjunction with an exhibit on Grieg at the composer’s museum in Bergen. The exhibit, and hence the book, present a biography of the composer through philatelic materials. However, the book goes beyond just a focus on Grieg and addresses other Norwegian musicians and music in philately in general.

            The author relates how he became interested in stamp collecting during the years of WW II. He then tells about the set of Grieg stamps issued by Norway in 1943 on the centennial of the composer’s birth. He illustrates stamps, cachets, and cancels of other countries that reflect on Edvard Grieg.

Other chapters look at stamps and music in general, cancellations related to music, the early stamps of Germany and Poland that celebrated musicians (Wagner and Paderewski respectively), music inspired by stamps such as the “Stamp Galop” and the “Philatelisten Walzer,” and musicians who were also stamp collectors. The author’s story is not restricted to classical music but includes poplar music, jazz, ballet, and other music related topics.

Over fifty pages are devoted to a thematic exhibit entitled “Grieg Rhapsody.” The color illustrations throughout the book are excellent. The book concludes with a listing of Norwegian stamps with a music tie-in followed by the FIP regulations for thematic philately exhibits. This is a gorgeous book for anyone interested in Grieg himself or music philately in general.

 

Alan Warren