Folkjul II: A Swedish Folk Christmas (SACD)

Current Stock:
Ulrika Boden, Sandra Marteleur, Gunnar Idenstam, St. Jacobs Chamber Choir, Gary Graden

Well into the previous century Sweden was largely a peasant society with folk music an integral part of daily life. There were work songs, narrative ballads and, obviously, music for dancing. Over the centuries a not always easy coexistence between religion and folk culture developed, with hymns being adapted to a folk-music aesthetic while popular traditions were given a Christian veneer. An example of the latter is the rich store of ‘Staffanballads’, springing from a pre-Christian horse cult but given a new slant as its focus shifted to St. Stephen –the first Christian martyr.

Gunnar Idenstam and S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir have performed their Folkjul concerts more or less every year since 2002. The concept stem from a rich interplay between ‘folk culture’ and ‘high culture’ and in Idenstam’s arrangements a newly composed halling or polska entwines itself round the old Christmas melodies. The first Folkjul album was released in 2007 –this time the choir and Idenstam are joined by violinist Sandra Marteleurand Ulrika Bodén, one of Sweden’s most well-established folk singers.

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  1. trad.: Gabriel's Message (sung in Swedish as Från himmelen kom ängeln Gabriel)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for choir and organ)
  2. Nicolai, P: Var hälsad sköna morgonstund (All Hail to Thee, O Blessed Morn)
    (arr. G. Idenstam and N. Sjödin for voice, violin, choir and organ)
  3. trad.: In dulci jubilo
    (arr. G. Idenstam for choir and violin)
  4. trad.: Tiggarvisa från Malung (Begging Song from Malung)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, choir, violin and organ)
  5. Viktor Gabrielsson: Polska av Viktor Gabrielsson (Polska by Viktor Gabrielsson)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, flute, violin, choir and organ)
  6. Tegnér: Nu sjunga Guds änglar (God's Angels Now Sing)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for choir)
  7. Sandra Marteleur: En gangar till kaffet (A Gangar with Your Coffee)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for violin and organ)
  8. trad.: Det lyser en stjärna (A Star Shines Bright)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, choir, violin and organ)
  9. Köhler, Emmy: Nu tändas tusen juleljus (A Thousand Candles are Now Lit)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, violin and organ)
  10. Idenstam: Christines polska (A Polska for Christine)
  11. Idenstam: Staffansvisa (Staffan ballad) - Clavierbüchlein for Anna Magdalena Bach, Book 2, BWV Anh. 113-132: Musette in D Major, BWV Anh. 126
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, choir, violin and organ)
  12. trad.: Staffan Halling II
    (arr. G. Idenstam for choir, flute, violin and organ)
  13. trad.: En stjärna gick på himlen fram (A Star Passed Across the Sky)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, flute, violin, choir and organ)
  14. trad.: Den signade dag (The Blessed Day)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for choir)
  15. Sofia Sandén: Allt vid den ljusa stjärnan (Upon the Bright Star)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice and choir)
  16. Mats Wallman: Julottan (Christmas Morning)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for violin and organ)
  17. Luther: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her (sung in Swedish as Från himlens höjd)
    (arr. G. Idenstam for voice, choir, violin and organ)