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Konsertrecension: christmas Oratorio in Kungsholms church is a gem

”Phaëton – the shepherds and the people's story”

Music: Yylva Q Arkvik.

Text: Ture Rangström and Tuvalisa Rangström.

Cast: Katija Dragojevic, Carl Ackerfeldt, Essinge chamber choir, Gustaf Vasa chamber choir, singers from Adolf Fredriks church diskantkör and children's choir.

the Orchestra from the Royal opera.

Directors: Lars Fredén and Espen Myklebust Olsen.

Scene: Kungsholms church, Stockholm, sweden.

running time: 1 h 10 min.

Score: 4.

For the composers who love the 1700-century church music is always the temptation to write a private oratory in the masters ' footsteps. But is it a coincidence that his English oratorios often deals with pain and darkness than julberättelsens heating and cheers? Is Sweden so secular, church is so distant and odd to the common man, that it is easier for audiences (and composers) to relate to the anxious parts of the bible than to the joyful news of the birth of Jesus? Is it too abstract?

in 2004, Fredrik sixten's Markuspassion and ten years later, Sven-David sandström's Matteuspassion. Ylva Q Arkvik have not written anything passionsoratorium but ”the revelation of John” (2013), which was based on the apocalyptic book of Revelation. But after the fact, and after it is at least as heavy ”Mater”, which was premiered in the last year, she got the urge to write positive and happy music. She dared to explore the joy that is contained in the christian message, a challenge that many backs away from today.

Read more: Martin Nyström about the ”christmas Oratorio” by Johann Sebastian Bach

”Phaëton – the shepherds and the people's story” will be premiered on the eve of epiphany, for the text is not about the birth of Jesus in itself, but about the people that are reached by the news, long after it has taken place. ”We are hitting the ro for the night, on the twelfth day,” is named in a section. Ture Rangström has with the assistance of her daughter Tuvalisa the author of a libretto that has lightness, alertness, and humor at the same time as it accommodates piety and poetry. The shepherds, the people and the children in the text is equally marveled the face of the savior's birth that today's secularized swedes. It is a smart grip, for it encourages a doubting or curious attitude on the part of the audience rather than a blindly saved setting.

Ylva Q Arkvik is an excellent oratorietonsättare. The modernist unpredictable sound, and it is congenial with the mysterious and incredible in the story – the christmas miracle feels eerie and odd, and thus a true under. But in the sections of the children's chorus is a melodic, which is so direct that it is reminiscent of folk music, which, to remind you that in the childhood are naiviteten, pure and beautiful as the infant Jesus is not alone radiate. In true oratorietradition interspersed the singing with the spoken story, but it shifts quickly, often several times within one and the same section.

My only objection is that mezzosopranens role is so small – Katija Dragojevic sings superbly beautiful but she is severely underanvänd. In general, this is phaëton a gem, which I hope will be delivered each trettondagshelg.

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