Sautján sonnettur um heimspeki hjartans

Lagabálkur eftir Þorvald Gylfason við ljóð eftir Kristján Hreinsson

Seventeen sonnets on the philosophy of the heart are new songs by Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason set to 17 sonnets by poet-philosopher Kristján Hreinsson, a small fraction of Mr. Hreinsson´s more than 400 sonnets. The songs are composed for tenor, baritone, piano, cello, saxophone, percussion, and strings, arranged by composer Thórir Baldursson. The songs and poetry are an ode to philosophy, and the music aims in places to reflect the local colors of the philosophers. Bergthór Pálsson baritone, Garðar Cortes tenor, Selma Guðmundsdóttir piano, Júlía Mogensen cello, Jón Elvar Hafsteinsson guitar, Pétur Grétarsson percussion og Sigurður Flosason saxophone performed all 17 sonnets in Harpa in August 2013. The poet gave a brief introduction to each number. The poems were projected onto a screen behind the stage. (See an English translation of the poetry here.) The program took about an hour in performance and was filmed. 
Kristján HreinssonKristján Hreinsson is a poet, composer, singer, and philosopher. His works include almost 40 published books, mostly poetry, in addition to a number of music discs.
Thorvaldur Gylfason has composed some 100 songs, among them Songs of Soaring Birds and Seven Psalms set to poems by Kristján Hreinsson and Five Seasons set to poems by Snorri Hjartarson.  Garðar Cortes has sung many of the lead tenor roles in the operatic repertory at home and abroad. He founded the Icelandic Opera, and led it for many years. He also founded the Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts, and has led it from the outset. He has made a number of recordings, mostly lieder. Bergthór Pálsson has sung a number of operatic roles as well as lieder. He sang the title roles in Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky and in Don Giovanni by Mozart at the Icelandic Opera among many other opera roles and recordings.


1.   Leibniz Sonnet

2.   Schopenhauer Sonnet

3.   Gandhi Sonnet

4.   Liebestraum Sonnet

5.   Confucius Sonnet

6.   Luxuriant Soul Sonnet

7.   Descartes Sonnet

8.   Garden Bliss Sonnet

9.   Constitution Sonnet

10. Lotus Flower Sonnet

11. Marx Sonnet

12. Book-of-Life Sonnet

13. Socrates Sonnet

14. Mandela Sonnet

15. Kierkegaard Sonnet

16. Castro Sonnet

17. Nietzsche Sonnet

  SelmaSelma Guðmundsdóttir has made several piano recordings on her own or with others, including Elegie with cellist Gunnar Kvaran. Júlía Mogensen is a cellist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Thórir Baldursson, composer, has been one of Iceland's most popular musicians for more than half a century. Among many other projects, he has arranged music for Elton John and Donna Summer. Vignir Jóhannsson, an Icelandic artist working mostly in Denmark, painted the backgrounds of the slides accompanying the performance.


Sören Kierkegaard was a remarkable man,
an amazing soul living from day to day
his philosophy
had room for religion
and the magic of his poetry was strong.

For decades, it was ever his wont
to devote time and care to his great art,
he worshipped God and spoke with Christ,
with mighty flights of fancy.

Then he wrote a book about Fear and trembling,
as well as about Repetition,
he longed for hope and tender love
though in his thoughts he was ever
on the run.

He viewed, in the grievous misery of tradition,
each marriage as the burial place of love.


The Leibniz sonnet performed by Garðar Cortes and Selma Guðmundsdóttir was the Last song before the news -- a unique Icelandic tradition -- on state radio 6 December 2014.

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