Icelandic musical traditions are mostly ignored by everybody else. This
compilation of Christmas songs does include some old tunes known elsewhere
in variants. But the purpose obviously is to portray Christmas songs and
hymns in Icelandic use today. In so doing the heritage is clearly extensive
with a simple quality of harmonisation matching the modal tunes, some familiar
to us further south [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:49].
A gentler carol, for instance, A festival approaches, introduces
a later tune with a modern, plain harmonisation. Yet again the simplicity
appeals and matches the mood, [listen track 17, 0:00-0:52]
reminding us that snappy and elaborate concoctions for Christmas are contrary
to the spirit of the Nativity.
The singing is -- much like the music -- plain, balanced, and an affirmation
of the Festival that celebrates a momentuous event, the innocence of a Babe,
and the joy of us all.
Copyright © 20 December 2000
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - ICELAND MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE ITM 8-09
VISIT THE ICELAND MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE
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