Tune of the Day: Anitra's Dance
Anitra’s Dance is part of the music to Henrik Ibsen’s drama Peer Gynt – one of the most ambitious, but also one of the most troublesome tasks that Grieg ever undertook. The composer wrote: “You don't believe, do you, that I had any choice in the matter? I was asked by Ibsen in spring, and of course I rebelled at the thought of setting this must unmusical of all subjects to music. It all hangs over me like a nightmare”. Nevertheless, the result was a triumph.
The fourth act is set on the north coast of Africa, where Peer Gynt meets a Bedouin chief in the heat of the desert. He falls for the chief's daughter, Anitra, who dances enticingly for him.