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Recreated 1700's music performed in Gothenburg Cathedral

News: Sep 30, 2013

Interview conducted by Thomas Melin for HumNytt #8. Read the Swedish original here.

What is the music about?

- The repertoire consists of music from Brödrakyrkans archives in Germany, Denmark and the USA. Brödrakyrkan refers to the community whose theology and piety is called Moravianism. I want to present an image of the musical context the Scandinavian communities were part of. The basis of the repertoire selection is a will to present the music of the people who helped formulate the musical ideals and aesthetics, which permeated the music scene in Brödrakyrkan in the 1700 - and 1800 centuries.

- Among the composers are Johann Daniel Grimm (1719-1760), one of Brödrakyrkans earliest musician, composer and music teacher, and Christian Gregor (1723-1801), musician and composer who also become a priest and ultimately Bishop of Brödrakyrkan.

How did you do to recreate the music?

- Among a rich source material, I made a selection based on composer and significant theological themes in Brödrakyrkan. Then the delicate work of transcribing the sometimes rather difficult manuscripts followed. The points of departure for the rehearsal process was the dialogue between the material and the knowledge generated in my PhD thesis and later resarch.

What instruments / voices are included?

- Violins, cello, harpsichord and voice are part of the ensemble. Musicians are Lars Warnstad and Margarida Edlund who both play violin, cellist Christian Berg, harpsichordist Andreas Edlund and myself on vocals.

What is the biggest challenge of performing this music?

- The focus has been on how we can use music as a mediating tool for language, as a tool to promote the heart's devotion and above all, as an arena for emotions related to the Jesus figure. Clearly the latter has been the most challenging. One challenge has been how we, in the contemporary society, can relate to a concept of music making and musical practice, formulated for close to 300 years ago. The intention is not so much to re-create the music, but to experiment with it based on our understanding of the material.

The seminar on Moravianism in Scandinavia was organized by Staging the Archives/Critical Heritage Studies and Evangeliska brödraförsamlingen in Gothenburg on September 26-27. The aim was to collect Scandinavian researchers working in the field and work to create an overview of the field today, and to create spaces for interaction and, if possible, generate new research projects.

Contact person: Christer Ahlberger

BY: Thomas Melin (transl. Lisa Karlsson Blom)

Page Manager: Jenny Högström Berntson|Last update: 2/26/2018

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