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Grieg gives you the hour

‘Morning Mood’ for breakfast, ‘A Sight’ for lunch and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ for dinner. This summer, the Oslo citizens and visitors alike can enjoy Edvard Grieg’s eternal tunes every hour –from the City Hall’s gigantic carillon.

In 2007 Norway commemorates the centenary for Grieg’s death, and in the capital they have even set the clock after the composer’s romantic tones. The hourly performance is given by the mechanical bells of the City Hall.

Every hour between 7 in the morning and midnight, Grieg’s well-known music chimes over the city. The music is rearranged for carillon bells by the Norwegian carillonist Vegar Sandholt.

First class bells
The Oslo carillon is the Nordic region’s largest, and is one of the worlds foremost with its 20 tons of bell bronze spread on 49 bells. The capital got its first carillon in 1952. The current bells are however from 2000, when the City Hall glammed up the bell tower upon the occasion of its millennium celebration.

Long tradition
For 55 years, every hour has been marked with Norwegian folk music or music by national composers, which is usually also the practice in other European cities that are equipped with carillons. European cities have since the 12th century had bell towers that have helped their citizens to keep track of time.

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Edvard Grieg, 1903Photo:  E. Bieber / The Grieg Archives / Bergen Public Library

Carillon bells in the City HallPhoto: Jan Ove Brenden, Norway

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