for upper voices (SSAA with divisi) a cappella
Text: Swedish (Joachim von Düben) or English (Catherine Winkworth)
Duration: c5 minutes
Use: Summer, nature, pastoral
I denna ljuva sommartid (In this sweet summertime) is a well-known traditional summer psalm in Sweden. The text is of German origin, written in 1653 by Paul Gerhardt (1607–76) (‘Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud’). The Swedish version is sung with different melodies, including one that is part of the Swedish Hymnal Songbook and sung in schools before the summer holidays. In this arrangement, commissioned by Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening, Oslo, Norway, and Marit Tøndel Bodsberg Weyde (conductor), Arnesen uses a traditional melody from Malung in Sweden and three of the eight verses of the psalm in Swedish and English, which describe summer as a gift from God. Beautiful melodic verses alternate with rhythmical, wordless sections which in turn evoke the warmth and joys of summertime. An approachable but impressive choral work which is sure to be an audience’s favourite.
Erratum: the tempo at bar/measure 35 should be crotchet/quarter note = 60, not 90 as is printed in early editions of this work
I denna ljuva sommartid,
Gå ut, min själ, och gläd dig vid
Den store Gudens gåvor.
Se, härligt smyckad jorden står,
Se hur för dig och mig hon får
Så underbara håvor!
Av rika löv är grenen full,
Och jorden täckt sin svarta mull
Med sköna, gröna kläder.
Och blommorna i ängens krans
Med större härlighet och glans
Än Salomos dig gläder.
När jag hör lärkans morgonsång,
När fåglar kvittrar dagen lång
På ängar, berg och backar,
Då kan jag icke tiga still.
Min Gud, så länge jag är till,
För livet jag dig tackar.
Joachim von Düben (1671–1730)
Go forth, my heart, and seek delight,
While summer reigns so fair and bright,
View God’s abundance daily;
The beauty of these gardens see,
Behold how they for me and thee
Have decked themselves so gaily.
The trees with spreading leaves are blessed,
The earth her dusty rind has dressed
In green so young and tender.
Narcissus and the tulip fair
Are clothed in raiment far more rare
Than Solomon in splendor.
The lark soars upward to the skies,
And from her cote the pigeon flies,
Her way to woodlands winging.
The silver-throated nightingale
Fills mountain, meadow, hill and dale
With her delightful singing.
Catherine Winkworth (1827–78)
Kim André Arnesen
Arnesen is one of the most frequently performed composers from Norway today. He grew up in Trondheim where he was a chorister in the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir, later being educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. With an interest in baroque music, contemporary classical music, and popular music, Kim could have taken many roads, but choral music became his greatest passion. As a composer, he had his first performance at the age of 18 with the boys’ choir. Since then he has written music that has been performed and recorded by choirs all over the world. In 2015–16, Kim was Composer-in-residence for the Denver-based choral ensemble Kantorei and Artistic Director Joel Rinsema. The residency concluded with the recording of Kim’s second CD album released in early 2018 on Naxos Records. He continues to enjoy a busy international schedule of commissions.