Compulsory piece for the First Category of the 2019 Flicorno d’Oro band competition
Old Folk Songs from Iceland is based on four ancient melodies of Icelandic folklore. Tvísöngur: Ísland Farsælda Frón (Two Singing) Most of the old Icelandic folk songs are monophonic melodies. The only exception is the so-called phenomenon of Tvísöngur or double-chant, which consists precisely of a song for two voices, one of which coincides with the cantus firmus while the other runs parallel to it at the interval of a perfect fifth. Grafskrift: Sæmundar Klemenssonar líkami (an Epitaph) This piece is a beautiful, melancholic slow song with almost ancestral character. Its text is taken from a tomb inscription. The harmonies of the song reflect an old tradition and attempt to portray the glacial and lonely landscape typical of large areas of the island. Krummavísur (The Raven) This archaic and obscure song tells of a raven that, in the long and cold winters typical of the Icelandic climate, is furiously trying to find food. The rhythm features a 7/8 dynamic and overwhelming meter, which attempts to describe the bird’s desperate flight searching for something to help it survive. Uppi í háa hamrinum (At the top of the rock) Literally “at the top of the rock,” this is a very simple monophonic chant, often sung by the elderly and children. Its continuous and almost hypnotic repetition is very impressive and the arrangement in this context recalls the musical forms of ancient bacchanals. In the final section, the melody overlaps and combines with that of the previous song (Krummavísur). This composition was selected among the top 25 (out of over a hundred received) that qualified for the quarter-finals of the International Composition Competition for Wind Orchestra Coups de Vents held in the Départements du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais. The theme of this fifth edition (2014-2015) was Musique du Monde.