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LR 1017
SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS (A) (Sparks)

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS (A) (Sparks)

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012


Artists:

Sparks, Richard


Richard Sparks

Conductor

David Dahl

Soloist

Choral Arts Northwest



Record Label
Loft

Genre:

Choir


Classical

Total Time - 59:42
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SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS (A) (Sparks)

     
Select Complete Single Disc for
     
 

TRADITIONAL

1 

Jeg er sa glad hver julekveld (arr. P.J. Christiansen)

1:54
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

NIELS WILHELM GADE

2 

Af Hoiheden oprunden

3:13
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

HENRIK ODEGAARD

3 

Den yndigste rose

2:44
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

JACOB GERHARD MEIDELL

4 

Deilig er den himmel bla (arr. P.J. Christiansen)

1:11
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

DAVID DAHL

5 

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

1:11
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

BROR SAMUELSON

6 

Ave maris stella (Stilla lyfter dimman)

3:30
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

HJALMAR GULLBERG

7 

O makalosa stjarna (arr. O. Ericksson)

3:40
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

HANS OLAV LIEN

8 

Guds Son har gjort mig frie

1:43
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

EDVARD GRIEG

9 

Ave, maris stella, EG 150 (version for choir)

3:35
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

TRADITIONAL

10 

O Jul med din glede (arr. C. Jennings)

2:17
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

DIETERICH BUXTEHUDE

11 

In dulci jubilo, BuxWV 197

1:52
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

TROND KVERNO

12 

Ave Maris Stella

6:15
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

OSKAR LINDBERG

13 

Gammal fabodpsalm fran Dalarna (Old Pastoral Hymn from Dalecarlia) (version for organ)

4:29
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

JAN SANDSTROM

14 

Gloria

6:15
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

EDWARD EVERS

15 

Jul, jul stralande jul (Christmas, Radiant Christmas)

4:21
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

EGIL HOVLAND

16 

Toccata, "Fra himlen hoyt jeg kommer her"

2:00
 David Dahl Soloist
     
 

RHABANUS MAURUS

17 

3 Latinska hymner (3 Latin Hymns)

2:19
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

TRADITIONAL

18 

Swedish Christmas Medley (after traditional carols)

2:09
 Richard Sparks Conductor
 Sparks, Richard
     
 

JOHANN HELMICH ROMAN

19 

Sinfonia di chiesa (arr. P. Vretblad)

5:04
 David Dahl Soloist


The rich musical heritage of Scandinavia is represented by one of the finest choirs in the country.  David Dahl also plays seven organ works on the new Fritts organ at PLU in Tacoma.  24-bit recording.

Program Notes
Scandinavia has a rich history of choral music and music for the organ. In 1997, Choral Arts Northwest put together a program of Scandinavian Christmas music with David Dahl as guest organist. This recording consists of works from that popular program, drawn from traditional carols and texts as well as some of Scandinavia’s marvelous contemporary composers. The traditional Latin hymn Ave Maris Stella provided the basis for three selections, including the beautiful setting by Norway’s best-known composer, Edvard Grieg.

Listeners will recognize in Berith Ballard’s arrangement (“Swedish Christmas Medley”) some traditional Christmas tunes from Sweden, and Norwegians will be familiar with “O Jul med din glede” and “Jeg er så glad.” “O Jul” is traditionally sung with children while dancing in a ring around the Christmas tree. In fact, one of my nephews, Tore (then 4 years old), who is very aware of his Norwegian-American heritage, recognized the song during our first concert and wanted to get up and perform the dance! “Deilig er den himmel blaa” is listed as a Danish folk carol, but Norwegian and Swedish versions of the piece are similar, with some slight language differences.

In a similar vein, many of the organ pieces are based on familiar chorales used by Bach in cantatas for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany-tunes such as “Von Himmel hoch” (From Heav’n Above to Earth I Come); “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How Brightly Shines the Morning Star); “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland” (Savior of the Nations, Come); and “In dulci jubilo” (usually sung in English to the words “Good Christian Men, Rejoice!”).

Gustav Nordqvist, writing in the early 1900s in the late Romantic nationalist style, penned “Jul, jul, strålande jul,” which manages to be simultaneously dreamy yet intensely yearning. A similarly lovely setting of “O makalösa stjärna,” in a 1995 arrangement by Ola Ericson, is paired with “Den yndigste rose” of Henrik Ødegaard (born in 1955) to round out the offering of Romantic Nordic style.

When choosing repertoire for this program, I discovered that Scandinavians love slow, lush pieces so much that I had to dig hard to find faster, happier songs. Carolyn Jennings’s delightful arrangement of “O Jul med din glede” in English provided a spirited contrast, and I took the liberty of fitting the Norwegian text back into it. Even so, the program needed more liveliness, so our own Berith Sandquist Ballard arranged the lighthearted medley you hear at the end of this recording.

The Swedish music I wrote about in my book (The Swedish Choral Miracle-Swedish A Cappella Music Since 1945) leans towards complex harmonies and compound rhythms. Very little Christmas music, of course, is written in such a style. However, “Ave Maris Stella” and the other Latin texts are included here because, being Marian hymns, they could be sung at Christmas. The contemporary settings by Bror Samuelson (a member of Eric Ericson’s first Chamber Choir in 1945) and Trond Kverno (born in 1945) complement the more traditional Grieg rendition of this ancient text.

Other works based on Latin texts include the “Ave Maria” by Gottfrid Berg (1889-1970) and the “Gloria” by Jan Sandström (born in 1954). Berg was primarily a church musician, and became interested in the revival of early music, especially that of the Renaissance. He was one of the first to publish performing editions of Renaissance music in Sweden. Jan Sandström, Professor of Composition at the Conservatory in Piteå, is one of most successful young composers in Sweden today. This Gloria is one movement of what will be a complete a cappella setting of the Mass, commissioned by the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble.

Richard Sparks

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