I was driving through the countryside the other day, and saw some cows grazing in a field. I was reminded of Edvard Grieg’s Cattle Call, a solo piano piece I had played a long time ago. Grieg has always been a favorite of mine. I particularly enjoy the little vignettes he creates in his solo piano miniatures, in particular, his Lyric Pieces.
When I went to look it up again, I remembered that there was more than one Cattle Call. There are four pieces known as Cattle Call, or Cow Call, or Cow Keeper’s Tune. Op. 17 No. 22 and Op. 66 No. 1 were written for solo piano. Op. 63 No. 2, which expands on the first Cattle Call, was written for a string ensemble. And there is a song called Cow Call from Op. 67.
Each of them evokes a peaceful, bucolic, restful end-of-the-day feeling. This is music to make you say ahhhh. I think we all could use that sometimes.
Here are some lovely performances of Grieg’s Cattle Call pieces.
A footnote for musical completeness (‘cause that’s how I roll). The Cow Call from Op. 67 is not part of the published Op. 67. Grieg set a number of poems from Arne Garborg’s poem cycle Haugtussa. The published music includes eight songs. But Grieg wrote 12 others that were not included (these are designated EG 152), including Cow Call. Information from https://imslp.org/wiki/Haugtussa%2C_Op.67_(Grieg%2C_Edvard).
“A Cow”, photo by publicenergy [Dave Wild, https://www.flickr.com/photos/publicenergy/], 2007, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. https://www.flickr.com/photos/publicenergy/1846375599/.