Classical Sunday: Traditional Scandinavian Folk Songs

Something to celebrate the cold season with. Enjoy.

Traditional Swedish Folk Songs

Here’s what they say concerning this video on YouTube:

The Music of Sweden shares the tradition of Nordic folk dance music with its neighboring countries in northern Europe, including polka, schottische, waltz, polska and mazurka. The accordion, clarinet, fiddle and nyckelharpa are among the most common Swedish folk instruments. The instrumental genre is the biggest one in Swedish traditional music. Swedish folk songs are dominated by ballads and kulning; the latter was originally used as a cow-herding call and is traditionally sung by women. The fiddle is perhaps the most characteristic and original instrument of the Swedish folk tradition.

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Classical Sunday: Alfvén’s Midsommarvaka

Be transported to an an old-time Swedish Midsummer wake and the magic of Midsummer Eve night.

Something Swedish today.  Not very long, but very fitting with this weekend: The summer Solstice was on Friday on the 21st, and Midsummer Day is tomorrow, on 24 June.

Hugo Alfvén: “Midsommarvaka”

Swedish Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 19

Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Petri Sakari

The Rhapsody, written in 1903, is the best-known piece by Hugo Alfvén, and also one of the best-known pieces of music in Sweden.  The score, published around 1906, describes it thus:

A fantasy on popular Swedish folk melodies depicting the moods evoked by an old-time Swedish Midsummer wake; the dancing and games around the May-pole through the magic night of Midsummer Eve.  One theme is the composer’s own invention, while other themes are borrowed from the folk-music of Sweden and elaborated by the composer.

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