Sunday, 20 March 2016

New Faroese discoveries

Well, this evening has generated one large Holmboe surprise, and hunting for more information generated a second (smaller) surprise to go with it.

The first large surprise is an album called Havnarkórið 45 ár released around 2011, which rather literally refers to 45 years of the choir Havnarkórið in the Faroe Islands. This choir already makes an appearance in this discography.

That entry was for just one song, the arrangement of Sigmundskvæðið (Sigmund's Ballad), but as you can see Holmboe's name appears very prominently here and there is much more Holmboe this time around!  None of the listings I've found identify the composers, but from comparisons to various information and recordings, it appears likely that this album contains all of Holmboe's Faroese work except for one song:

  • the arrangement of Sigmundskvæðið (Sigmund's Ballad) (M.ySi)
  • the complete Hevjið í homrum (Raise in the Passes), op.81 (M.214)
  • 5 out of 6 songs from Sól og kavi, which is the Faroese version of Sange mod Vårdybet (Songs Towards the Deep of Spring), op.85 (M.223) - it appears the 3rd song, which is actually the one that gives the cycle its Faroese name, is absent
  • the complete Faroese (original) version of Eydna / Lykken (Good Fortune), op.119 (M.272) 
  • Ólavur Riddararós, the arrangement that doesn't appear in the known Holmboe catalogue, but now appears on two different albums
  • Brugvar (Bridges), op.151 (M.311)

Several of these are not otherwise available or difficult to find, which makes this a significant find for the discography! I've removed op.151 from the "never recorded" list.

It's described as a 2-CD set, with the Holmboe works occupying almost all of the first disc. While I've not yet found any evidence of the CD being available, the album appears to be quite widely available for download or streaming.

The second discovery was a group called Mpiri, and an album called Asbest. This is another Faroese choral ensemble, but based in Copenhagen. There are several different cover images for the album.

There is one Holmobe track. "Dimmið" (incorrectly written as "Dimid" or "Dimmio" in many sources) is the third song from Eydna/Lykken.

The album appears fairly widely available for download or streaming. There is also a CD version, and the entire album has been put on YouTube (legitimately I think).

I haven't yet revised the (already complex) discography entry for the relevant choral works, as this amount of new information will take some work to incorporate.

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