Asa's Toddy (1920)
One-Step - Apologies to Mr. Grieg
Last updated: 17.11.19
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Composer: G.L. Cobb Suppliers: dbe15.gif 
Editor: Geoff Grainger Sextet T/T/T+B/B/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 1103
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Length: approx. 5½ mins.
Asa's Toddy is a humorous and perhaps disrespectful treatment of Edvard Hagerup Grieg's Åses död (Asa's Death) from his Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46. The composition is in AABBB form with a 4-bar introduction and an 12-bar interlude preceding the final B- strain. The A-strain is a slightly jazzed up transposed version, D-major to Bb-major, of Grieg's exquisitely sad and beautiful original which was scored andante doloroso. Here Grieg mandated 50 crotchets/min for this piece which served both as Prelude to Act III and its concluding music of the original Ibsen play. Now Asa was Peer Gynt's much loved dying widowed mother and the fantasist Peer at her deathbed, described the bed as a royal coach for a joyful journey to a resting place "east of the sun and west of the moon." Well, this is probably where the Toddy bit comes in. Toddy, generally meaning spirits mixed with hot water, may be a pun on död or Tod in various spellings because the B-strain, Cobb's contribution, is happy and cheerful perhaps describing that final journey.
The interlude briefly returns to the opening bars of the A-strain before the final B-strain. The cover of the original sheet music shows a sad charmer with fantastic headgear who surely cannot be Asa herself - more likely the doleful Solveig, the love of his youth who remained true to him throughout his years of wandering and deceitful, lecherous encounters. What the patriotic Grieg would have thought of all this can only be conjectured - he died in 1907 - at least Cobb apologised!
Asa's Toddy was published by Jerome H. Remick & Co., New York & Detroit, USA.
Tempi of 50 and 80 are suggested for the A- and B-strains respectively.
     Title Performer
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