A Song for Winter: Natt över Jorden (Karin Rehnqvist)
About This Blog
In this season of social distancing, I'm offering a series of virtual micro-concerts for anyone to enjoy. On the first Wednesday of every month, I post one fine performance of notable choral music for women’s voices. The selections and performing groups are varied and eclectic. Most are in the 3-5 minute range. Each post includes an audio recording, brief notes, text & translation and, when practical, a copy of the score in case you want to follow along.
This blog is generously sponsored by Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble (Oakland, CA.)
Voci is dedicated to promoting music for women's voices..
Before We Begin...
I'd like to invite any singers or conductors to suggest a favorite, interesting piece for women's voices that you think would be worth posting about. If your group has a nice performance, we'd be happy to include as well, but it is not necessary. Write to me here:
About this Month's Music
The textures and harmonies of Natt över Jorden evoke the barren landscapes and long nights of winter in Sweden. The piece is highly canonic and has an aleatoric feeling--it, is in fact, rooted in the aleatoric choral music of the 1960’s, '70’s and '80's. Dissonances of a half-step, whole-step and tone clusters all result from the layering of the same melody in one, two, three and finally four voices. These sounds give a sense of space and peace, as night descends on a snowy scene.
About the Composer
Karin Rehnqvist (b. 1957) is a Swedish composer and conductor. She principally composes vocal music, but also creates chamber music, orchestral works and music for the stage. Much of her vocal music incorporates elements of folk music such as the vocal technique of Kulning. In 2009 she was appointed the first female professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
About the Performance
Listen to the Music Here:
View the Score Here:
Text and Translation
Natt över jorden (Night over the earth)
Poetry by Erik Blomberg
Nu är det natt över jorden.
Darrande stjärna, gläns!
Världarna vandra så fjärran.
Mörkret är utan gräns.
Marken och mullen och mörkret,
varför älskar jag dem?
– Stjärnorna vandra så fjärran.
Jorden är människans hem
Now it’s night over the earth.
Daring star, shine!
The worlds wander so far.
The darkness is without limits.
The field and the mole and the darkness,
why do I love them?
- The stars wander so far.
The earth is the home of mankind.
More stunning winter-music by Karin Rehnqvist!
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My Choral Music YouTube Channel
Mitchell Covington is an award-winning composer and conductor who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent adjudicator for choir competitions and festivals and has led choir tours and festivals throughout Europe. Mr. Covington has several choral compositions in print with major U.S publishers and his music has been performed by choirs throughout the U.S and Europe. Mr. Covington is the Founding Artistic Director of Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble.