Then Svenska Messan
A rarity and works from the Swedish Empire
Roman – Albrici – Schmelzer – A. Düben – G. Düben – Dijkman – Buxtehude
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Lionel Meunier and Minna Kangas, leaders
The guest in the “Top European Choirs” series during spring 2024 is the Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis. The ensemble is conducted by the bass Lionel Meunier, and it’s one of the most notable early music ensembles to arise in the 21st century. This is their 20th anniversary season. They have received many prizes, among them Gramophone’s award for best recording (2012). The main work of the concert is a rarity, Then Svenska Messan by “Sweden’s Händel” Johann Helmich Roman (1694–1758). The programme also contains music from Sweden’s era of great power, from the middle of the 17th century onwards.
In 1716–1721, during the Great Northern War that ended the Swedish empire, Roman studied in England and played in Händel’s orchestra. In 1727, Roman was appointed as court conductor and he began giving public concerts in Stockholm. He was appointed to the Science Academy in recognition of his work to support vocal music in Swedish. Among the works in Swedish of this composer of the Age of Liberty are his passion music and his cantatas.
Then Svenska Messan (1752) was performed when the retired Roman visited Stockholm to take care of the funeral music for Frederick I and the coronation of Adolf Frederick. The missa brevis in Swedish consists of choir movements and arias, and is written in a galant style and exhibits a profound knowledge of the late Baroque.
Vincenzo Albrici (1631–1690) came to Sweden as Queen Christina created a spectacular art scene at her court. When she abdicated in 1654, he continued on to Dresden where he became the court conductor. Albrici’s Fader Vår is a nuanced work of the early Baroque. Misere (1660) by Sweelinck’s pupil Andreas Düben (1597–1662) was in turn composed for the funeral of Christina’s successor Charles X Gustav.
Gustav Düben (1628–1690) succeeded his father as court conductor, and he is known for his sheet music collection, located in Uppsala and consisting of thousands of manuscripts. From the collection, we get to enjoy Johann Heinrich Schmelzer’s (ca 1623–1680) sonata as well as Herren vår Gud by the Danish-German Dietrich Buxtehude (1637–1707), very much admired by Bach. There are over 150 works by Buxtehude in the collection.
Of Gustav Düben’s own works, the programme includes the lovely Veni Sancte Spiritus (1651/1652). Lamentum eller En Sorge-Music (1685) is in turn the only work that remains in existence by Lüdert Dijkman (1646–1717), the organist of Storkyrkan. He composed the original and moving work for the funeral of the young princes Gustav and Ulrik.
In FiBO’s “Top European Choirs” series, the orchestra collaborates with world-renowned international choirs from 2022 to 2025. The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation support the series from 2023 to 2025. The first concert in this series took place in February 2022 with Det Norske Solistkor, the second one in February 2023 with Arcangelo and the third one in October 2023 with RIAS Chamber Choir.
Duration: 2 h (incl. imtermission)
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