Svenska Romanser Program Notes

svenska romanser
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is recognized as one of Finland’s most prominent composers. Sibelius’s work was acclaimed across a range of genres including chamber music, songs, choral works, piano pieces, symphonies and other large-scale orchestra compositions. He studied both law and music when he first moved to Helsinki in 1885. However, it wasn’t long until Sibelius dropped his law pursuits to study composition with Martin Wegelius[1]. Sibelius composed over 100 solo songs for voice and piano which were primarily set to text by Swedish and Finnish-Swedish poets. Song cycle Op. 50 was an exceptions.
Composed in the summer of 1906, Opus 50 is Sibelius’s only German song cycle. Sibelius composed one other German song, Erloschen, which may have originally been intended for Op. 50[2]. The song cycle displays Sibelius’s composition style of lacking a postlude. The composer believed music is tied to the text and often would not compose much past the last sung word[3]. This style of composition also occurs in his works Bollspelet vid Trianon, and En Slända which are also presented on this recital.
Lenzgesang is a greeting to spring! Filled with a colorful depiction of the transition between seasons. Sibelius mimics the sound of spring blooming at a rapid pace with syncopated rhythms and crisp articulations.  Lenzgesang was published in a collection of poems called “Fahrendes Volk” by Arthur Fitger (1840-1909).  Fitger was also recognized for his accomplishments as a historical and mythological subject painter[4].
Sibelius creates an unstable longing for synchronized meters between the vocalist and accompaniment in his setting of Sehnsucht. In a seemingly ironic way, the tension between voice and piano finally come to a resolve at the end “Schmerz und Trost der Schemrzen bist in einem mir” (Pain and relief from pain, is what you are to me). The text was written by German calligrapher and typographer, Emil Rudolf Weiss (1875-1942).
The feeling of longing carries into the next piece of this song cycle, but creates an entirely different atmosphere. Im Feld ein Mädchen singt tells of a heartbreakingly sad song sung by a maiden in the field. While the singer’s reasoning for this sad song is purely speculation, the maiden’s song becomes a reflection of the singer’s current emotional state. Written by Margarete Susman (1872-1966), this poem was published in Susman’s first book of poems “Mein Land” in 1901. Though she was born in Hamburg, German, Susman grew up in Zürich, Switzerland and for a short time, studied art in Paris. From 1915 to 1933 Susman had lived in Germany but returned to Switzerland to live out her days. Her time in Switzerland was still tormented by the tragedies of World War II. She stated, “One can barely conceive of the horror: the language I myself spoke had become terror to me.”  Just before her death in 1966, Susman completed her memoirs “Ich habe viele leben gelebt” (I have lived many lives)[5].
Aus banger Brust and Die stille Stadt were both written by Richard Dehmel (1863-1920). Dehmel was known for his writings that depicted naturalistic social themes and the miseries of the working class[6].
In contrast to the other poems set by Sibelius for this song cycle, Die stille Stadt pulls away from the nature scene and drops the audience in the middle of a city consumed by smoke, and fog that blocks out the moon and stars. Despite the bleak contrast to exuberant spring time in nature (for example Lenzgesang), there is a serene quality to this song as the closing phrase tells us of a child’s song of praise.
To close out the song cycle, Rosenlied takes the audience back to a similar theme and mood as the opening movement, Lenzgesang. A jubilant and romantic themed ¾ dance-like meter tells the story of roses witnessing a lovers’ encounter. True to Sibelius’s style of forgoing a postlude, the accompaniment and vocal line abruptly conclude the piece. As the rose speaks of withering away to the grave so stops the music, completing the song cycle.  Rosenlied was written by German poet Anna Ritter (1865-1921).
Lenzgesang                                                                    Spring Song
Seid gegrüßt, ihr grünen Hallen                                Greetings to you, you green halls
frühlingsheller Waldespracht,                                   Spring’s bright forest of splendor,
wo das dumpfe Herz aus allen                                   where the dull heart of all
Kümmernissen froh erwacht.                                    worrying awakes.
Seid gegrüßt, ihr Felsenzacken,                                 Greetings to you, you rocky crags,
Die ihr in die Wolken ragt                                           that stretch to the clouds
und auf starkem Riesennacken                                  and, on strong gigantic necks,
säulenschlanke Buchen tragt.                                     bear the slender columns of beech trees.
Moos’ge Schluchten, Steingeklüfte                          Mossy gorges, stone chasms
überdeckt das rote Laub,                                           covered by the red foliage,
das im Sturm die Herbsteslüfte                                that the stormy autumn winds
Hingewettert in den Staub.                                        flung down into the dust.
Wie ein Teppich braun und golden                          Like a carpet, brown and golden,
lagern Schichten über Schicht,                                   the layers over layers,
die mit selt’nen Blüten dolden                                    interrupted with rare blooming spikes
kaum ein Grünes unterbricht.                                    That are green stalk flowers.
Was sich hoffnungsvoll entfaltet                                What unfolds hopefully
einst im Mai in junger Kraft,                                        once in May in its youthful vigor,
wird im Herbste schnell veraltet                                will quickly grow old, in the autumn
Zu den Toten hingerafft.                                               swept away by the dead;
Aber unerschöpflich dringen                                      But inexhaustibly surges forth again
Trieb’ um Triebe wachsend nach,                              new shoots on new shoots
und die starken Äste schlingen                                   and the strong branches entwine
sich zum hochgewölbten Dach.                                  to form the high vaults of heaven.
 Menschenkind, und du willst klagen,                       Child of man, would you complain
wenn im Wirbelsturm der Welt                                  in the hurricane of life,
deine Hoffnung hingeschlagen                                   if your hopes are dashed
gleich dem Laub zu Boden fällt?                                 when the leaves fall to the ground?
Auf! Aus ungeschwächtem Marke                            Arise! From unweakened land,
Schaffe neue, tausendfalt,                                           create thousands of new hope;
und so wache, so erstarke                                            Grow and become strong
wie der sturmerprobte Wald.                                     Like the storm-tried forest.
Seid gegrüßt, ihr grünen Hallen                                  Greetings to you, you green halls
frühlingsheller Waldespracht.                                     Spring’s bright forest of splendor.
Durch die Wipfel hör ich’s wallen                              I hear it through the tree tops
hundertstimmig laut und sacht,                                 A hundred voices loud and gentle,
treibend, knospend, vielgeschäftig                           sprouting, budding, busily working,
rauscht’s dahin wie Geisterflug;                                rushed like a spirit in flight;
Lenz, ich spüre lebenskräftig                                       Spring, I sense life-affirming
deinen neuen Athemzug.                                             your renewed breath.
Sehnsucht                                                                      Longing
Oft am langen Tage seufz ich, ach! nach dir,         Often, on long days, I sign, Ah! After you,
fühl ich dich mir nahe,sprech ich so mit dir.        I feel that you are near me, I speak to you.
In der kühlen Frühe aufgewacht zu mir,              In the cool, early morning, when I awake,
fühl ich, was uns trennet, seufz ich, ach! nach dir.        I feel what separates us, I sigh, Ah! After you.
Seh dein Auge schauen liebevoll zu mir,               I see your eyes looking lovingly at me,
schaut mich an und weilet einen Blick bei mir.         They look and rest upon me for a moment.
Geht von mir am Tage,kommt zurück zu mir,         You leave me during the day, come back to me,
wenn ich nach dir klage, schweigend und in mir.   When I yearn for you, silently and in my soul.
Schmerz und Trost der Schmerzen bist in einem mir         Pain, and relief of pain; you are both to me,
oft am langen Tage seufz ich, ach! nach dir.                          Often, on long days, I sigh, ah! After you.
Im Feld ein Mädchen singt                                                          In the field a maiden sings
Im Feld ein Mädchen singt…                                                        In the field a maiden sings …
Vielleicht ist ihr Liebster gestorben,                                         maybe her lover died,
vielleicht ist ihr Glück verdorben,                                             maybe her luck is spoiled,
daβ ihr Lied so traurig klingt.                                                       Because her song sounds so sad.
Das Abendrot verglüht-                                                                 The sunset glows,
die Weiden stehn und schweigen,                                            the willow stands and remains silent
und immer noch so eigen                                                             and still so uniquely,
tönt fern das traurige Lied.                                                           sounds the sad song far away.
Der letzte Ton verklingt.                                                                The last sound fades away.
Ich möchte zu ihr gehen.                                                              I would like to go to her.
Wir müβten uns wohl verstehen,                                              We would have understood each other well,
da sie so traurig singt.                                                                    because she sings so sadly.
Aus banger Brust                                                                             From Anxious Hearts
Die Rosen leuchten immer noch,                                               The roses are still shining,
die dunklen Blätter zittern sacht;                                               The dark leaves tremble gently;
ich bin im Grase aufgewacht,                                                      I have woken in the grass,
o kämst du doch,                                                                              Oh, would you come,
es ist so tiefe Mitternacht.                                                           It is deepest midnight.
Den Mond verdeckt das Gartentor,                                          The moon hides the garden gate,
sein Licht flieβt über in den See,                                                Its light flows over into the lake
die Weiden stehn so still empor,                                               The willows rise so quietly,
mein Nacken wühlt im feuchten Klee.                                     My neck is resting in the wet clover.
So liebt’ ich dich noch nie zuvor!                                                               I’ve never loved you like this before!
So hab ich es noch nie gewuβt,                                                  I never knew it like that before
so oft ich deinen Hals umschloβ                                                 When, so often, as I embraced your neck
und blind dein Innerstes genoβ,                                                And blindly enjoyed your innermost essence,
warum du so aus banger Brust                                                   why you, from anxious heart,
aufstöhntest, wenn ich überfloβ.                                              Would groan loudly when I overflowed.
O jetzt, o hättest du gesehn,                                                       Oh now, if only you had seen,
wie dort das Glühwurmpärchen kroch!                                  How the glow-worms crawled by just now!
Ich will nie wieder von dir gehn!                                                I never want to leave you again!
O kämst du doch!                                                                             Oh, you would come!
Die Rosen leuchten immer noch.                                               The roses are still glowing.
Die stille Stadt                                                                                  The Silent City
Liegt eine Stadt im Tale,                                                                There is a city in the valley,
ein blasser Tag vergeht;                                                                A pale day fades away;
es wird nicht lange dauern mehr,                                              it will not be long
bis weder Mond noch Sterne,                                                     until neither the moon nor the stars,
nur Nacht am Himmel steht.                                                       but only night stands in the sky.
Von allen Bergen drücken                                                            From every hilltop there presses
Nebel auf die Stadt,                                                                        fog down on the city,
es dringt kein Dach,                                                                         there is no roof,
nicht Hof noch Haus,                                                                       no yard or house,
kein Laut aus ihrem Rauch heraus,                                           no sound can break through the smoke,
kaum Türme noch und Brücken.                                                Hardly even towers and bridges.
Doch als dem Wandrer graute,                                                   When the traveler begins to dread,
da ging ein Lichtlein auf im Grund;                                           there a little light illuminates the ground;
und durch den Rauch und Nebel                                                               and through the smoke and mist
began ein leiser Lobgesang                                                          began a quiet song of praise
aus Kindermund.                                                                             from a child’s mouth.
Rosenlied                                                                                           Rose Song
Wir senkten die Wurzeln in Moos und Gestein,                  We sank our roots in the moss and rock,
wir wiegten die Schultern im rosigen Schein,                       We rocked our shoulders in the rosy glow,
wir tranken die Sonne, den Tau und das Licht,                     We drank the sunshine, the dew and the light,
wir prangten in Schönheit und wussten es nicht.                We were beautiful and did not know it.
Der Lenz strich vorüber und küsste uns leis,                          The spring passed and kissed us softly,
der Tag ward so still und die Nächte so heiss,                      The day was so quiet and the nights so hot
der Wind sprach von Liebe manch’                                           The wind spoke of love,
flüsterndes Wort,                                                                            many a whispering word,
ein Schritt kam gegangen, ein Arm trug uns fort.                 One step came, one arm carried us away.
Wer hält unser Leben in zitternder Hand?                             Who holds our life in a trembling hand?
Es duftet und rieselt ein weisses Gewand.                            A fragrant white gown is rustling.
Wir sehn eine Brust, die die Sehnsucht erregt,                    We see a breast, which arouses longing,
wir hören ein Herz, das in Leidenschaft schlägt.                  We hear a heart that beats in passion.
Von Liebe gebrochen, zu Liebe gebracht,                               Broken by love, brought to love,
wir grüssen dich, Schwester,                                                       We greet you, sister,
in schweigender Nacht.                                                                 in silent the night.
Der Tag, der zu holderem Blühen dich ruft,                           The day calling you to bloom more nobly,
er schenkt unsre Schönheit verwelkt in die Gruft.              Places our withered beauty into the grave.
The Tennis game at Trianon is a quirky mini-scena representing the Tennis Court Oath established during the French Revolution all the while creating a scene that pokes fun at the Estate of Marie Antoinette, who was famously beheaded during the French revolution. True to Sibelius’ composition style, Bollspelet features recitative like sections and lacks a postlude.
Gustaf Fröding (1860-1911) wrote the poems to both Bollspelet vid Trianon and Fylgia. Though he is not well known in the English-speaking world, he has been acclaimed to be one of the 19th centuries most innovative poets[7]. Fröding’s texts lend themselves well to musical settings with their “rich musical form”[8]. The tone of his poems range in political satire (such as Bollspelet), lyric nature poems, and Biblical fantasies[9].
Bollspelet vid Trianon                                                                    Tennis at Trianon
Det smattrar prat                                                                             There is prattling on
och slår boll och skrattar                                                               and a game with a ball and laughter
emellan träden vid Trianon,                                                         among the trees at Trianon,
små markisinnor i schäferhattar,                                               small marquises in shepherdess hats,
de le och gnola, lonlaridon.                                                          smile and hum, “Lon laridon.”
Små markisinnor på höga klackar,                                             Small marquises in high heels,
de leka oskuld och herdefest                                                      they innocently play, and are herding
för unga herdar med stela nackar,                                            young herdsmen with stiff necks,
Vicomte Lindor, Monseigneur Alceste.                                   Viscount Lindor, Monseigneur Alceste.
Men så med ett                                                                                But all of a sudden
vid närmste stam                                                                             from the nearest tree
stack grovt och brett                                                                      appeared, coarse and broad,
ett huvud fram.                                                                                a head sticking out from behind.
Vicomten skrek:                                                                                               The Viscount shouted:
“Voilà la tête-là!”                                                                            “There’s the head there!”
och Monseigneur                                                                            and Monseigneur
slog förbi sin boll                                                                              swung and missed his ball
och “qu’est-ce que c’est?”                                                            and “what is it?”
och “qui est la bête là?”                                                                 and “who is that beast?”
det ljöd i korus från alla håll.                                                        were heard in chorus from all sides.
Och näsor rynkas förnämt koketta,                                          And noses are wrinkled coquettishly,
en hastig knyck i var nacke far                                                    a hasty turn of the head
och markisinnora hoppa lätta                                                      and the marquises hop lightly
och bollen flyger från par till par.                                               and the ball flies from pair to pair.
Men tyst därifrån                                                                             But silently, away from there,
med tunga fjät                                                                                  with heavy footsteps
går dräggens son                                                                              goes the peasant’s son
Jourdan Coupe-tête.                                                                      Jourdan with the missing head.
The composition style Sibelius used for En Slända (A Dragonfly, 1904) is radically different than the previous pieces on this recital. The voice and piano are in a true back and forth duet, leaving the vocalist exposed for most of the piece. To enhance the visual of a dragonfly elegantly flitting around, a vocalize on “ah” is inserted, which is not in the original poem by Oscar Levertin (1862-1906). En Slända was published in Levertin’s collection titled Nya dikter (“New Poems”, 1894)[10].
En Slända                                                                                            The Dragonfly
Du vackra slända,                                                                             You beautiful dragonfly,
som till mig flög in,                                                                          who flew to me,
när tyngst min längtan                                                                   when my longing was deepest,
över boken drömde,                                                                       reading my book,
du kom med hela sommarn till mitt sinn.                               You came to my soul with all of summer.
Du kom och jag allt gammalt svårmod glömde.                   You came and I forgot all my old hardship.
Blott dig jag såg, min dag jag lycklig dömde,                         Just from seeing you, I judged my days happily,
du vackra slända.                                                                             you beautiful dragonfly.
Men bäst jag jublade, att du var min                                        But I was jubilant that you were mine
och lifvets skänk i sång på knä berömde,                                               and praised life’s gift on my knees,
du flög den samma väg som du kom in,                                  you flew out the same way you came in,
du trolska slända.                                                                             you magic dragonfly.
All afskedsgråt                                                                                  Tears of parting ran into words
 i välgångsord förrinn!                                                                    of farewell!
Ej beska fauns i bägarn, som vi tömde.                                   No bitterness was in the cup which we emptied.
Att du var sol, jag skugga blott vi glömde.                              We forgot you were sun, I was just a shadow.
Flyg ljus, flyg blå, än sommarlycka finn,                                  Fly light, blue one, than summer find
välsignade, som en gång varit min,                                           blessed one who once was mine,
min vackra slända.                                                                           my beautiful dragonfly.
Jubal is based on the biblical character of the same name who is described as the father of all who play the harp and flute (Genesis 4:21).  In Ernst Josephson’s (1851-1906) retelling of the story, Jubal creates music when he shoots a beautiful white swan out of the sky with his arrow. Sibelius tells this story through his composition, again, using recitative like sections. Recurring thematic melodies establish the three characters represented in the poem: the narrator, the swan, and Jubal.
Jubal                                                                                                     Jubal
Jubal såg en svana fly                                                                     Jubal saw a swan flying
över vattnet högt mot sky,                                                           over the water, high in the sky,
spände hastigt bågen.                                                                    He quickly drew his bow.
Klang, ljöd strängen.                                                                       Clang, sounded the string.
Som en il                                                                                              Like a gust of wind,
fågeln, träffad av en pil,                                                                 the bird was struck by an arrow,
fött att dö på vågen.                                                                       fell to die on the wave.
Solen sjönk i samma stund,                                                          The sun sank in that same moment,
purpur dränkte himlens rund,                                                     purple drenched the vault of heaven,
lunden hördes susa;                                                                        the grove was heard whispering;
och en ljuv melodisk vind                                                              and a delightful melodic wind
smekte sakta Jubals kind,                                                              gently stroked Jubal’s cheek,
for att böljan krusa.                                                                         it made the water ripple.
Svanen sjöng: “vad ljuvlig klang,                                                 The Swan sang: “What lovely sound,
yngling, från ditt vapen sprang                                                   o youth, from your weapon sprang
när du grymt mig fällde?                                                               when you crucified me so cruelly?
Sträng till sträng du binda skall,                                                  You tie string to string,
spela så för världen all,                                                                  play then for all the world,
prisa skaparns välde!”                                                                    and praise the Creator’s rule!”
Sjöng så Jubal:”svana vit,                                                              So sang Jubal, “White swan,
varje kväll jag vänder hit                                                                every night I shall come here
att din död besjunga.                                                                     to sing of your death.
Ty du lade till mitt bröst                                                                Because you touched my heart with
strängaspelets ljuva tröst,                                                            the delightful comfort of the strings played,
sången på min tunga.”                                                                   And the song upon my tongue.”
Gunnar De Frumerie (1908-1987) is considered one of Sweden’s most important romanser composers of the 20th century. He was a professor of piano at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm as well as a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music[11]. Frumerie intended this song cycle be performed with elegant högsvenska (high Swedish) diction[12].
Pär Lagerkvists (1891-1974) published “Hjärtats sånger” the year after his second marriage, which was in 1926. The theme for this collection was a vast contrast to his typically dark and pessimistic writing style[13]. A writer well versed in poetry, novels and drama, Lagerkvist was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1951[14].
När du sluter mina ögon, the opening number to Frumerie’s Hjärtats sånger (Songs of the heart, Op. 27, revised in 1976), is undeniably about death. The translation of the opening phrase, “when you close my eyes with your gentle hand,” paints a powerful image of preparing a person for burial. Though the image of death typically creates feelings of disparity, with the combination of Frumerie’s lullaby influenced melody and the continuous mention of light, the poem offers a peaceful view of death.
Blir det varcket som du där går (there is beauty where you walk, no. 2), continues the musical atmosphere created in the opening piece. The poet revels in their infatuation with what could possibly be a celestial being. This being creates light where it walks as it floats above the ground. Even the earth takes pleasure in being stepped upon by this creature.
The fifth of six songs in Op. 27, Du är min Afrodite is a stand out piece with a sweeping accompaniment and declamatory vocal line. Frumerie’s accompaniment creates the image of Aphrodite rising out of the depths of the sea as the singer declares, “You are my Aphrodite, born out of the sea”.
The cycle closes by continuing the nautical theme in som en våg (“like a wave”). This calm after the storm ambiance brings the listener full circle to a gentle melody similar to the opening movement. The sound of waves gently crashing on the shore are represented in the accompaniments continuous grace notes.
När du sluter mina ögon                                                        When you close my eyes
När du sluter mina ögon                                                         when you close my eyes
med din goda hand                                                                  with your good hand
blir det bara ljust omkring mig                                              all becomes bright around me
som mig soligt land.                                                                like a sunlit land.
Du i skymning vill mig sänka,                                                 You want to surround me in twilight,
men allt blir till ljus!                                                                but everything turns into light!
Du kan intet annat skänka mig                                             you give me nothing
an ljus, blott ljus.                                                                     but light, just light.
Det blir vackert dar du går                                                           There is beauty where you walk
Det blir vackert dar du går, marken,                                         There is beauty where you walk, the ground,
stigen, stranden som du följer,                                                   the path, the beach you are following,
allt tycks ljusna, glädjas,                                                                everything seems bright, delightful,
allt som ser dig.                                                                                 everything that sees you.
kan väl jorden glädjas                                                                     Can the earth rejoice
för att någon stiger på den,                                                         when someone walks on her,
trampar på den,                                                                               steps on her,
en som den älskar?                                                                          someone she loves?
Fråga inte mig.                                                                                  Don’t ask me.
Jag ser blott skenet,                                                                       I only see the shine,
hur det dröjer kring dig,                                                                 how it is around you,
svävar över marken,                                                                       floats over the ground,
som om jorden log.                                                                         as if the earth smiled.
Stig pa den,                                                                                         Step on the one,
som glӓds att se dig lycklig.                                                          who delights in seeing you happy.
Blott inte hårt,                                                                                   Just not hard,
som om du visste att du var älskad.                                         as if you knew you were loved.
Du är min Afrodite                                                                          You are my Aphrodite
Du är min Afrodite, den ur havet födda,                                 You are my Aphrodite, born out of the sea,
så ljus som vågens                                                                           as light as the wave’s foam
driva av skum i solen lyftad.                                                         of ocean spray lifted in the sunlight.
Och mitt djupa, dunkla hav,                                                         and you are my deep dark sea,
mitt liv, min skumma grav,                                                           my life, my dark grave,
mitt hjärtas oro, tunga ro,                                                            my heart’s concern, a heavy peace,
Allt som i solen ej fått bo.                                                             All that was not allowed to live in the sun.
Du är min Afrodite,                                                                         You are my Aphfrodite,
den ur djupet födda.                                                                   born out of the depths.
Som en våg                                                                               Like a wave        
Som en våg sköljd upp mot stranden                                   Like a wave rinsed up to the beach
vilar du hos mig.                                                                           you rest with me.
När jag smeker dig med handen                                           When I caress you with your hand
skälver havet ini dig.                                                                trembles the sea in you.
Djupa hav, som födde dig.                                                     Deep sea that gave birth to you.
Kom intill mig,                                                                                   come near me,
nära till mig,                                                                                       close to me,
Djup som blivit du.                                                                          Depths that have become you.
Detta som inom dig skälver                                                          This trembles within you
är ditt hjärta ju,                                                                                 is your heart,
är ett mänskohjärta ju.                                                                  is a human heart after all.
Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927) was also a pianist and conductor. Despite being mostly self-taught as a composer, Stenhammar is one of Sweden’s most prolific composers and his songs have become popular to record.
Flickan kom i från sin älsklings möte is a multi-character mini drama. The poem tells the story of a girl who sneaks away to see her lover and her concerned mother. Sibelius also set this famous text. Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877) wrote this famous poem. He is also famed for writing the Finnish national anthem. Runeberg is celebrated annually with his own day, February 5th, and a pastry named after him. The pastry is an almond cake-like muffin topped with raspberry jam[15].
Flickan kom I från sin älsklings möte                     The Girl returned from meeting her lover
Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte,                        The Girl returned from meeting her lover,
kom med röda händer. Modern sade:                    returned with red hands. Her mother said:
“Varav rodna dina händer, flicka?”                          “What has made your hands red, girl?”
Flickan sade: “Jag har plockat rosor                        The girl said: “I was picking roses
och på törnen stungit mina händer.”                       and pricked my hands on the thorns.”
Åter kom hon från sin älsklings möte,                      Again she returned from meeting her lover,
kom med röda läppar. Modern sade:                      returned with red lips. Her mother said:
“Varav rodna dina läppar, flicka?”                             “What reddened your lips, girl?”
Flickan sade: “Jag har ätit hallon                                The girl said, “I was eating raspberries
och med saften målat mina happar.”                       and with the juice I stained my lips.”
Åter kom hon från sin älsklings möte,                      Again she returned from meeting her lover,
kom med bleka kinder. Modern sade:                     came with red lips. Her mother said:
“Varav blekna dina kinder, flicka?”                            “What has made your cheeks so pale, girl?”
Flickan sade: “Red en grav, o moder!                       The girl said: “Dig a grave for me, o mother!
Göm mig där och ställ ett kors däröver,                  Hide me there and set a cross above,
och på korset rista, som jag sager,                            and on the cross write as I tell you:
En gång kom hon hem med röda händer,              Once she came home with red hands,
ty de rodnat mellan älskarns händer.                      they had turned red between her lover’s hands.
En gång kom hon hem med röda läppar,                Once she came home with red lips,
ty de rodnat under älskarns läppar.                          They had turned red beneath her lover’s lips.
Senast kom hon hem med bleka kinder,                 Finally, she came home with pale cheeks,
ty de bleknat genom älskarns otro.”                       They had turned pale at her lover’s betrayal.”
The final piece of this recital is based on an Icelandic mythical creature that appears during sleep, Fylgia. In Fröding’s poem, the protagonist repeatedly begs Fylgia to stay. Fröding’s most productive writing occurred soon after a nervous breakdown. The urgency of this text very well could stem from the emotional anxieties Fröding was dealing with at the time[16]. Stenhammar captures Fröding’s sense of urgency in with the use of a repetitive sixteenth-note pattern and a relentless descending baseline.
Fylgia                                                                                    Fylgia
Fylgia, Fylgia, fly mig ej,                                                 Fylgia, Fylgia, fly not from me,
när jag drags av det låga mot dyn,                            when I am drawn to the lowest depths of the mud,
du skygga, förnäma, sky mig ej,                                  you shy, noble one, escape me not,
när med lumpna tankar                                                 when I block out your plaint figure
jag shimmer din veka gestalt,                                      with despicable thoughts,
som svävar I skönhet och stjärnglans                       you hover in beauty and starlight
och drömmar av ljus för min syn                                                and dreams of light my vision
så nära mig, men så fjärran dock                               so near to me, but as far away as the distant sky,
som den fjärran, fjärran skyn,                                     the distant, distant sky,
du eftertrådda, du oåtkomliga,                                  you longed for, unreachable one,
du flicka av skönhetslängtan,                                      maiden of longed-for beauty,
du väsen I dräkt av livets skiraste silverskir            dressed in life’s most ethereal clear silver,
med lyckliga drag och kärlekens                                 with happy features and the shimmer
skäraste törnrosskimmer i hyn.                                  of briar rose on your skin.

Fylgia, Fylgia, fly mig ej,                                                 Fylgia, Fylgia, fly not from me,
du skygga, förnäma, sky mig ej,                                  you shy, noble one, escape me not,
du min skönhetslängtan,                                              you, my longed-for beauty,
du som mot dagens sorger                                           you, who against the days’ sorrow
är min skyddande tröst i nattens syn!                      Are my protecting comfort in the vision of night!

Barnett, Andrew. “Jean Sibelius- a short biography.” SibeliusOne. 2006/2014. Accessed March 10th,           2019.
Britannica Academic, s.v. “Oscar Ivar Levertin,” accessed April 28, 2019, https://academic-eb-      
Chela, Carina. “Runeberg: A Patriot 19th-Century Rapper.” This is Finland. Accessed April 27th, 2019.
 “Fitger, Arthur Heinrich Wilhelm.” Benezit Dictionary of Artists.17 Mar. 2019.                       787.001.0001/acref-9780199773787-e-00064839.
“Guide to the Papers of Margarete Susman.” Access March 10th, 2019.
Hahn, Barbara. “Margarete Susman.” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women’s Archive. (Viewed on March 17, 2019) <;.
Hallmundsson, Hallberg. An Anthology of Scandinavian Literature: from the Viking Period to the Twentieth Century. Collier Books: New York. 1965
Hersey, Anna. Scandinavian Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Repertoire and Diction.      Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 2016.
Lindqvist, Helene and Philipp Vogler. “Gunnar de Frumerie.” The Art Song Project. 2011. Accessed March               10th, 2019.
“Richard Dehmel: German Poet.” Feb 4, 2019. Accessed March 17, 2019.       
Roland-Silverstein, Kathleen. Romanser: 25 Swedish Songs with Guide to Swedish Lyric Diction.     Stockholm: Gehrmans Musikförlag, 2013.
Tiilikainen, Jukka. Jean Sibelius: Solo Songs with Piano. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1998.
[1] Barnett. “Jean Sibelius- a short biography.” SibeliusOne. 2006/2014.
[2] Tiilikainen. Jean Sibelius: Solo Songs with Piano. 1998. VIII
[3] Hersey. Scandinavian Song. 2016. Loc 1710 of 7094.
[4] “Fitger.” Benezit Dictionary of Artists.
[5] Hahn. “Margarete Susman.” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.
[6] “Richard Dehmel: German Poet.” 2019.
[7] Hallmundsson. An Anthology of Scandinavian Literature. 1965. 322.
[8] Hersey. Scandinavian Song. 2016. LOC 3010.
[9] Hallmundsson. An Anthology of Scandinavian Literature. 1965. 322.
[10] Britannica Academic, s.v. “Oscar Ivar Levertin.”
[11] Lindqvist. “Gunnar de Frumerie.” The Art Song Project. 2011.
[12] Roland-Silverstein. Romanser: 25 Swedish Songs with Guide to Swedish Lyric Diction. 2013. 18.
[13] Hersey. Scandinavian Song. 2016. Kindle edition. Loc 3523.
[14] Hallmundsson. An Anthology of Scandinavian literature. 1965. 338.
[15] Chela. “This is Finland.” Runeberg: A Patriot 19th-Century Rapper.
[16] Hallmundsson. An Anthology of Scandinavian Literature. 1965, 322.


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