Notes and Editorial Reviews
There is something enchanting about this disc that opens it up to a wider circle of listeners than those who simply want to hear the aria Lobe den Herren from Bach's Cantata No. 137 sung in Norwegian, or Mendelssohn's setting of Luther's prayer Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich performed in Danish. Philip Spray, music director of the Indianapolis-based Musik Ekklesia, has done a lot of research in tracking the travels of familiar chorale texts and tunes to the Nordic countries and thence, through processes of emigration, to the New World. His conclusion, as the disc's title indicates, is that the tradition has now largely died out, but he has resurrected a good many
examples of cross-fertilisation that make for a thoroughly appealing sequence.
Thus Praetorius' Christmas anthem Psallite turns up in Swedish, and Bach's O Jesulein süss, O Jesulein mild in Norwegian. The American soloists and chorus, drilled by diction coaches, sound like they're at ease with the languages and sing with fluency and clarity. The period instrumental ensemble has an agreeable pungency and the new Baroque-style Opus X organ in the First Lutheran Church of Boston has an attractively reedy quality on which the excellent Hungarian organist Bálint Karosi capitalises.
This is a disc with intriguing slants on music that we may know from elsewhere and in other manifestations, and the connections are explained in the booklet-notes. But it also contains works by Grieg, Nielsen and Buxtehude, whose credentials as Nordic composers earn them a warranted place in the programme.
-- Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone [11/2011]
Works on This Recording
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99 (Sung in Danish)
Hvorledes skal jeg mode (Wie soll ich dich empfangen)
Lovsjung Krist (Psallite)
Lover den Herer (Lobe den Herren, den machtigen Konig der Ehren), BWV 137
Mitt hjerte alltid vanker (My Heart Always Wanders) (arr. P. Spray)
Album for Male Voices, Op. 30: No. 10. Den store, hvide flok (A Great White Host) (arr. Spray)
Der mange skal komme (Many Shall Come) (arr. P. Spray)
Fran Gud vill jag ej vika (Von Gott will ich nicht lassen)
Pa dig jag hoppas (In dich hab'ich gehoffet, Herr, SSWV 208)
O Jesus sa sot, O Jesus sa mild (O Jesulein suss, o Jesulein mild), BWV 493
Forlen os freden, Herre, nu (Verleih' uns Frieden gnadiglich)
Min sjal, lat Gud i allt fa rada (Wer nun den lieben Gott lasst walten), BWV 691 (arr. P. Spray)
5 Digte (5 Songs), Op. 4, FS 12 (Sung in Norwegian): 5 Digte (5 Songs), Op. 4, FS 12: No. 5. Har dagen sanket al sin sorg
Sand, Herre, dina anglar ut (Herzlich lieb)
29 Small Preludes, Op. 51, FS 136: No. 6. - - Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 (Sung in Swedish)
2 Preludes, FS 137: No. 2. - - Hymns and Sacred Songs, FS 83: No. 12. Der er en Vej (There Is a Path)
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BuxWV 184
29 Small Preludes, Op. 51, FS 136: No. 23. - - Vor gud han er sa fast en borg?
Improvisation on C. Nielsen's 29 Small Preludes, Op. 51, FS 136: No. 23. - - Ein feste Burg
Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt, BuxWV 76: V. Klag-Lied
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