4 And More Music

Gavin Bryars: Hövdingar Hittast (Heroes Meet)

Bryars, Gavin

Hövdingar Hittast (Heroes Meet) / From Egils Saga / Hitt blinda liðið / Trondur i Götu

Brattaberg, Runi / Palsdattir, Eivor / Bryars, Gavin / Eystanljoö & Aldubaran / Jacobsen, Olavur / Lamhauge, Agnar

GB Records
5052442004899 | BCGBCD 20 | 1CD
Since 2002 Gavin Bryars has developed a strong and very special relationship with the Faroe Islands (he describes it as “one of the most beautiful places in the world”) and has undertaken a number of projects there. On this recording, the composer conducts Faroese forces in three works based on powerful Nordic poetry and subject matter: From Egil’s Saga, Tróndur í Gøtu, and a short choral piece, Hitt blinda liðið.
Bryars’ first tangible connection with the islands came about when he met the operatic bass Rúni Brattaberg, who sang in his opera G in Mainz, and who is the only classical singer to come from the Faroes. This led to a new piece, From Egil's Saga, for bass voice and chamber orchestra, which sets old Icelandic saga poetry. Included in the composition are fragments of the music that composer and singer recorded in various Faroe locations, most notably, at the opening of the piece, in the magnificent cathedral-like sea cave of the island of Hestur.
Subsequently Bryars was asked to write another piece with chamber orchestra, this time to celebrate the Faroese hero Tróndur of Gøtu. This is for two solo voices, Rúni Brattaberg and the very beautiful Faroese singer/composer Eivør Pálsdottír, who was later to sing the title role in the premiere of Gavin Bryars’ fourth opera Marilyn Forever. The music sets some Irish texts from St Brendan as well as texts about Tróndur, in Faroese. It was first performed in the lovely new church in Gøtu, with the composer conducting the choir Eystanljóð and the ensemble Alúbaran.
Eventually both pieces - From Egil’s Saga and Tróndur I Gøtu - were performed and recorded for this album in the Nordic House in Tórshavn, and a short choral setting of one of the first modern Faroese poets Christian Matras, Hitt blinda liðið (The Company of the Blind) was subsequently added for the choir.