Sixteen Songs for Soprano and Tenor

New song cycle by Thorvaldur Gylfason set to poems by Kristján Hreinsson

Sixteen Songs for Soprano and Tenor are a new song cycle by Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason, set for voice and piano to poems by poet philosopher Kristján Hreinsson. The songs are a celebration of longing, sorrow and happiness, will and hope, love, life, and art. Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir soprano, Elmar Gilbertsson tenor, and Snorri Sigfús Birgisson piano premiered the song cycle at Hannesarholt in Reykjavík 25 November 2017. The poet briefly introduced each song. The poetry was projected onto a screen behind the stage. (An English translation of the poetry will soon be posted here.) The performance took about 80 minutes, and was be recorded for television. Sample: Music of the Heart.
Kristján HreinssonKristján Hreinsson is a poet, composer, singer, and philosopher. His works include almost 40 published books, mostly poetry, including, most recently, Skáld eru skrýtnir fuglar (Poets Are Strange Birds, 2016) and Koddaljóð (Pillow Poems, 2017), in addition to a number of music discs.
Thorvaldur Gylfason has composed some 100 songs, including Seventeen Sonnets on the Philosophy of the Heart, Songs of Soaring Birds, Seven Psalms as well as Sixteen Songs for Soprano and Tenor, all set to poetry by Kristján Hreinsson. The Sonnets were performed in Harpa 2012 og 2013, the Birdsongs in Salurinn in Kópavogur 2014, and the Psalms in Langholtskirkja 2014 as well as in Guðríðarkirkja 2015. He also composed Five Seasons, set to poems by Snorri Hjartarson and performed in Hannesarholt in Reykjavík in March 2017. Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir has sung several operatic roles on stage, at the Icelandic Opera as well as abroad, and has also performed with symphony orchestras, including the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra on several occasions. Recently, she has given several concerts with German, French, and Nordic lieder. On her CD Í ást sólar (Loved by the Sun) she performs Icelandic songs with Árni Heimir Ingólfsson piano. She received the Icelandic Music Award in 2013 as female vocalist of the year for the role of Michaëla in Bizet´s Carmen at the Icelandic Opera.
Elmar Gilbertsson has sung several operatic roles at home and abroad, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as in France, Germany, and elsewhere. He was awarded the Gríma Prize in 2014 as Singer of the Year for the role of Daði Halldórsson in the opera Ragnheiður by Gunnar Þórðarson at the Icelandic Opera, and again in 2016 for the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart´s Don Giovanni. He was also awarded the Icelandic Music Prize in 2014 as Singer of the Year in the area of classical and modern music and again in 2017 for the role of Lensky in Tchaikovsky´s Eugene Onegin at the Icelandic Opera. 

PROGRAM

1.   Lágstemmdar línur

2.   Þegar ljóðið lifir

3.   Móðurminning

4.   Við glugga um nótt

5.   Ekkert að óttast

6.   Minn eilífi draumur 

7.   Lífsblóm

8.   Leiðin liggur heim

9.   Fagur engill fylgir þér

10. Fögur mynd

11. Tónlist hjartans

12. Vilji vindsins

13. Við gröfina þína

14. Vonarglæta

15. Sagan

16. Ljúfur leikur

PictureSnorri Sigfús Birgisson is among Iceland´s most accomplished pianists, and is also a prolific composer. His works include concerts for soloist and orchestra, chamber works, electronic music, choral works, symphonic works, and songs. His works are available on a number of CD and LP recordings. He prepared the sixteen songs for the two singers.

LEIÐIN LIGGUR HEIM

Hérna er landið sem forðum svo fallegt ég sá,
fjöllin sem haustkaldir vindarnir náðu að sverfa,

lognríka myrkrið sem svefnvana sálin mín á

sælunnar fótmál sem hvorki mun eyðast né hverfa. 

 

Hérna er húsið sem eilífa gæfu mér gaf,

gróskunnar vitund sem spor mín að foldinni dregur,

eldur sem lýsir upp draumanna dulúðarhaf,

djásnið í hjartanu, andanna fegursti vegur.

 

Birtan frá arninum hlustar á loganna ljóð,

léttfættur reykurinn svífur mót himneskum skuggum,

sólgulir bjarmarnir daðra við dýrðlega glóð,

dansandi stjörnurnar speglast í gegnsæjum gluggum.

 

Aftur fær hugur að leika um æskunnar land;

litanna dásemd sem hjartað í fyrndinni kvaddi,

aftur fer hugur um fjörunnar fegursta sand

sem fýkur í hita en sefur í brennandi gaddi.

Til baka

Á íslenzku