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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66676
Recording details: June 1993
Turku (Abo) Cathedral, Finland
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Paul Niederberger
Release date: February 1994
Total duration: 6 minutes 18 seconds

'An organ, the mere sound of which can send shivers down the spine … breathtaking … another splendid disc as thrilling and truly spectacular as they, or anyone else for that matter, have so far produced' (Gramophone)

Variations on a Norwegian folk tune
Norwegian folk tune 'O how glorious it will be for the children of God'

Koral  [1'07]
Song  [1'14]
Langeleik  [1'05]
Frygde Song  [1'14]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Bjarne Sløgedal is organist and conductor of Kristiansand Cathedral in Norway, where he also directs an international Church Music Festival. He studied in Oslo, then at the Juilliard School in New York and at Kooninglich Conservatorium in the Hague. He composes for choir and orchestra in addition to the organ, and is a collector and arranger of Norwegian folk music.

The theme of the Variations is a chorale familiar in Norway from the hymn book, and derived from a Norwegian folk tune whose short-breathed phrases give it a particularly expressive quality. It was both the melody and the words which inspired the composer. The opening line begins: ‘Å hvor salig det skal blive’ (‘O how glorious will it be for the children of God’). The first three variations emphasize the folk origins of the tune, casting it as a song in variation 1, then as a flute melody over a hurdy-gurdy-style drone bass in the second variation. The title of the third variation, Langeleik, is the name of a Norwegian zither-like folk instrument which has one melodic string and up to seven drone strings. The music echoes its timbre, creating an interesting registration challenge. The final variation is an apotheosis of the melody. The composer dedicated the variations ‘Mine foreldre tilegnet … ’—‘to my parents’.

from notes by Ian Carson © 1994

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