Carl Nielsen (1865 - 1931):
SOM EN GRÆSGRØN PLET ~ Like a grass-green spot
Initial chorus of Carl Nielsen's choral work "Fynsk Forår" (Springtime in Funen - a lyric humoresque) for soloists, chorus and orchestra (Opus 42). It was composed in 1921. In many respects it is a musical account of his memories, paralleled in his published memories of 1927, "My childhood in Funen". The first performance in 1922, in the large Market Hall in Odense, was a major national event. No less than 1000 singers took part, and among the audiences were the Danish King and Queen.
The text was provided by Danish doctor, poet and painter Aage Berntsen (1885-1952). He had won a competition launched by the Danish Choral Society, for a text about Danish nature, history and popular life. Carl Nielsen was asked to write the music, which he accepted, although he was quite busy at that time, working on one of his greatest symphonic works, the 5th.
English translation of the text:
Like a grass-green spot when the snow has thawed,
Like a water lily leaf on the deep lake
Lies in spring the Funen isle.
Now flowers the gnarled apple tree
Behind hills as round as maiden knees
And spreads its bloom over man and beast.
In gardens where fell the icy snowflakes
They raise the jutting hop pole
That the hops may grow lissome and long.
And everyone feels that the day is sweet
From the grey of morning to the evening red -
and their lips quiver at the thought of
(The Danish National Radio Choir)
(The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Leif Segerstam