Olav Haraldson, later king and patron saint of Norway, first came to Rouen with a large fleet in the autumn of 1013. The fleet was hired by the Duke of Normandy to mount guard on the Seine to stop other Vikings from travelling up the river towards Paris. Olav’s men observed and learnt much during their stay. They experienced state administration, legislation and encountered Christianity, a new way to see the existence of man, and ended the sojourn by being baptized in 1014.
When this large number of men came back to Norway, they influenced the nation in a way not previously experienced. This became a turning point in history, not only in Norway, but across the entire area of northern Europe. In Sweden one hundred churches were dedicated to Olav, in England thirty – the earliest, which is still an active parish church, in York in 1050. In London there were six Olav churches. The very first church dedicated to Olav, was founded in Constantinople in 1033.
This is a live recording from the pre-world premiere in Stavanger concert hall the 17 September 2014. The World Premiere was in the Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen 15 October 2014 The Oratorio was also performed in the Basilica Sainte Clotilde in Paris 17 October 2014
Soloists: Stevica Krajinovic (Olav) Nina Sætherhaug (Sunniva) Hervé Lamy (The Archbishop) Jean Pascal Ollivry (The Duke) Runar Thor Gudmundsson (The Icelander)
Organ: Gabriel Marghieri (Improvisations)
Polyphonic choir: Stavanger Oratorio Choir and Rouen Cathedral’s Chamber choir Gregorien choir: Schola Sanctus Svithun and Choeur Grégorien de Paris Orchestra: Rouen Opera Orchestra