Voices in the Danish Sky (2011)
Voices in the Danish Sky combines folk tunes and original melodies by beloved Danish composers in a suite that unites past with present and sacred with profane. The suite was commissioned by the Minnesota ensemble Indånde: Amy Morris, flute and Mark Seerup, oboe. Indånde, a Danish word meaning “inhale,” performs music that features flute and oboe en duo and with a variety of instruments and singers.
After a sinuous fanfare, the wind instruments meditate on Carl Nielsen’s song “Sænk kun dit hoved du blomst!” (Lay down your head you flower!). “Nu vågne alle Guds fugle små” (Now awake all God’s little birds), a song written in 1839 by the earlier Danish master Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse (1774-1842), lends its swinging siciliana rhythm. Hans Thomissøn’s Hymn Book of 1569 psalm melody is the source of “Rejs op dit hoved, al Kristenhed” (Rise up your head, all Christianity), which features the characteristic hemiolas and cross-relations of the day. Two lively folk songs, “Det var en lørdag aften” (It was a Saturday night) and “Længe nok har jeg bondepige været” (Long enough I’ve been a country girl), rev up the motor and drive the music to a close.
Thanks to Gitta Mohr of Danebo (the Danish Cultural Center in Minneapolis) and to Julie and Anders Himmelstrup for assistance with source material.