This collection of "Northern songs" is like a scrapbook full of music and poetry from around 1500. Harper Leah Stuttard and singer Agnethe Christensen present a fascinating programme with songs, instrumental music, dance music and hymns to the Blessed Virgin together with one of Denmark's most unique medieval ballads "Oluf StrangesĂ¸ns dystrit" about two friends, Oluf and Hasburd, who embark on a dangerous journey with deadly duels in the early morning. This many-facetted, and sometimes rather surreal, story inspired us to find more songs about horses or battles but also a hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary based on similar melodic material from a collection of songs and other texts, the Rostocker Liederbuch.
We have chosen to also present one of Sweden's earliest medieval ballad texts from around 1600 for which Agnethe reconstructed music. Here we have the light, sensual midsummer time when the evenings are bright and long. The young man comes riding on his grey steed in to a rose garden where he finds a traditional dance in which his beloved is participating.
Together with music from another book of songs, the Lochamer Liederbuch, we create a musical meditative universe where the past come alive and reaches out to us with the timeless stories of the medieval ballads and varied musical material from the German sources displaying tenderness as well as virtuosity.
Link to Agnethe Christensen homepage: http://agnethechristensen.org/
Link to Leah Stuttard homepage: http://leahstuttard.co.uk/
Link to the Danish ballad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdgfO2dDcqc