Solveig’s Song forms part of the incidental music that the Norwegian composer Grieg (1843-1907) wrote – at the request of the playwright himself – for Ibsen’s 1867 play, Peer Gynt..
The long-suffering Solveig is devoted to Peer and she sings the song just as he – once more – abandons her. As she sits at the spinning wheel, she sings that although the years may pass she knows that he will come back to her – and that she will find her waiting for him, just as she promised.
The yearning melody of Solveig’s Song has a striking simplicity and it is the only one of his songs strongly influenced by folk-music: it is also easily the most often performed.
Following the success of Peer Gynt Grieg later extracted eight movements to form two four-movement orchestral suites containing some of Grieg’s best loved music. Solveig’s Song provides a poignant end to the second suite.