Sunndal Kulturhus with Trondheim Soloists, Sunndal Norway 24th June 2018


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Foto: Nikolaj Lund 2017

A chance to hear Henning Sommerro's new concerto, 'Chrysillis' composed for Catriona & Chris in 2017. A new work that touches on Fife's ancient links with Norway.

About the music: A Danish priest was dead so the bishop, poet and hymn-writer Thomas Kingo (1634-1703) was offered to take over the position. As usual, he had to take over the widow too. In this case she was Cille Balkenborg and was priesthood born in Sunndalen on NordmÝre. Kingo fell in love with Cille and wrote the magnificent love poem Chrysillis to her. After just one year of marriage, Cille died but she was able to tell her husband about the high mountains of Sunndalen, which enabled him to write the hymn "Now the sun is running out”.

This story came for a day when Sommerro was asked to write a piece for Catriona McKay and Chris Stout, which would be performed in Fife, Scotland at the East Neuk Festival in 2017. Fife proved to be the place Kingo's grandfather traveled emigrated from to settle in Denmark.

With these events hanging over the composition, the piece Chrysillis became a musical journey. From Scotland, via Denmark to Norway. Each movement has a theme composed by Sommerro set up against a tune from the respective country. Finally, all the melodies mix together into a short finale.

Catriona and Chris are also musicians who love to improvise, so they were given some freedom to do this.

Finally, note that the pitch C is important. With all the C names, it was not to be avoided …

Henning Sommerro

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© McKay Stout Music 2017