Cover Folkjul II: A Swedish Folk Christmas

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 96 $ 14.00
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Traditional:
  • 1Från himmelen kom ängeln Gabriel (Arr. G. Idenstam for Choir & Organ)02:28
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Philipp Nicolai:
  • 2Var hälsad sköna morgonstund (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Violin, Choir & Organ)08:17
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Traditional:
  • 3In dulci jubilo (Arr. G. Idenstam for Choir & Violin)04:26
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Traditional:
  • 4Tiggarvisa från Malung (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Violin, Choir & Organ)03:48
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Viktor Gabrielsson:
  • 5Polska (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Flute, Violin, Choir & Organ)04:33
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Alice Tegnér:
  • 6Nu sjunga Guds änglar (Arr. G. Idenstam for Choir)02:00
  • Sandra Marteleur:
  • 7En gangar till kaffet03:05
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Traditional:
  • 8Det lyser en stjärna (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Violin, Choir & Organ)06:35
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Emmy Köhler:
  • 9Nu tändas tusen juleljus (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Violin & Organ)02:17
  • Gunnar Idenstam:
  • 10Christine's polska04:19
  • 11Staffansvisa (After Bach's BWV Anh. 126) [Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Violin, Choir & Organ]04:47
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Traditional:
  • 12Staffan Halling II (Arr. G. Idenstam for Flute, Violin, Choir & Organ)02:42
  • 13En stjärna gick på himlen fram (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice, Flute, Violin, Choir & Organ)05:53
  • 14Den signade dag (Arr. G. Idenstam for Choir)02:32
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Sofia Sandén:
  • 15Allt vid den ljusa stjärnan (Arr. G. Idenstam for Voice & Choir)04:14
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Mats Wallman:
  • 16Julottan (Arr. G. Idenstam for Violin & Organ)03:51
  • Gunnar Idenstam, Martin Luther:
  • 17Från himlens höjd (Arr. G. Idenstam for Violin, Choir & Organ)07:27
  • Total Runtime01:13:14

Info for Folkjul II: A Swedish Folk Christmas

Well into the previous century Sweden was largely a peasant society with folk music an integral part of daily life. There were work songs, narrative ballads and, obviously, music for dancing. Over the centuries a not always easy coexistence between religion and folk culture developed, with hymns being adapted to a folk-music aesthetic while popular traditions were given a Christian veneer. An example of the latter is the rich store of ‘Staffan ballads’, springing from a pre-Christian horse cult but given a new slant as its focus shifted to St. Stephen – the first Christian martyr. Gunnar Idenstam and S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir have performed their Folkjul concerts more or less every year since 2002. The concept stem from a rich interplay between ‘folk culture’ and ‘high culture’ and in Idenstam’s arrangements a newly composed halling or polska entwines itself round the old Christmas melodies. The first Folkjul album was released in 2007 – this time the choir and Idenstam are joined by violinist Sandra Marteleur and Ulrika Bodén, one of Sweden’s most well-established folk singers.

Gunnar Idenstam, organ
Lisa Rydberg, viloin
Emma Härdelin, vocals
Sofia Karlsson, vocals
St. Jacobs Kammarkör
Gary Graden, conductor

Gunnar Idenstam
is a concert organist, composer, arranger and folk musician. He trained as a classical organist and his teachers included the legendary French organist Marie-Claire Alain. In 1984 he won the Grand Prix de Chartres, the prestigious improvisation competition and he has since given recitals all over the world. His style as a composer/improviser is a mixture of art music, folk music and symphonically oriented rock music; a combination that has not previously been associated with the organ. Of the traditional organ repertoire Gunnar Idenstam performs mainly Bach and the French composers. He also arranges and performs both symphonic and popular music with ethnic influences. As a folk musician he is unique in transferring the Swedish tradition of folk music to the organ and the harmonium, performing either alone or as a duo with, for example, Lisa Rydberg and Johan Hedin.

The St. Jacobs Chamber Choir
was founded in 1980 and performs regularly at services and concerts in Stockholm’s S:t Jacob (St. James) Church. Since its inception the choir has shown a particular interest in modern choral music and it frequently commissions and performs works by new and exciting composers. This has contributed strongly to the choir’s reputation as one of the finest in Sweden. The S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir delights in undertaking projects like the present recording in which creative musical innovation and tradition coincide.

Gary Graden
was born in the USA in Philadelphia. He has directed the choir since 1984. He trained in the USA and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with Eric Ericson, in whose chamber choir he has sung. In 2005 Gary Graden was awarded the prize as Sweden’s choral director of the year and he is in great demand as a teacher and guest conductor in Sweden and abroad. Gary Graden has shown a unique capacity for combining widely varying musical genres with the sonorities of Swedish choral tradition. With the curiosity of the true musician he also likes performing newly written works.

Lisa Rydberg
is a folk musician with the title riksspelman (‘musician of the country’) and baroque violinist with a unique musical background: she has consistently refused to choose a genre. She is the fist person to have graduated from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with the combination of classical and folk music. Aged only seventeen she was awarded the prestigious folk music prize, known as the Päkkos Gustaf Award, at the Nordic folk-music Mecca of Bingsjö. She appears in diverse musical contexts: in duos with Gunnar Idenstam, the saxophonist Jonas Knutsson and others, in baroque ensembles and as a violinist and arranger of strings on pop albums. She has also released three discs under her own name.

Sofia Karlsson
is a folk musician and singer from the Stockholm suburb of Enskede. Among her early musical influences she mentions her grandmother performing chorales on the har- monium, her grandfather playing a single-row accordeon and her mother who always sang in the car. She released a Dan Andersson disc Svarta Ballader (‘black ballads’) in a folk vein in 2005 and has since toured in Sweden and Scandinavia with her solo band.

Emma Härdelin
was born in Delsbo – famous for its folk music tradition – in 1975. She is the fourth generation of folk musicians in the Härdelin family. With her pure and distinct style of singing she has gained a reputation in the world of folk music, not least as a member of the groups Garmarna and Triakel.

Booklet for Folkjul II: A Swedish Folk Christmas

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