Edvin Kallstenius and “Du Gamla, Du Fria”

edvin kallstenius

Edvin Kallstenius (August 29, 1881-November 22, 1967) was a Swedish composer and librarian, who arranged the traditional folk tune used as the de facto national anthem of Sweden, Du gamla, Du fria.  Born in Filipstad, Sweden, on August 29, 1881, Kallstenius studied natural sciences at the Lunds Universitet, then music at the Leipzig Conservatory under Stephan Krehl from 1904 to 1907. As music librarian at Swedish Radio from 1928-46 he made a significant contribution in the field of music administration in Sweden.  He also served on the Board of the Society of Swedish Composers from 1933-1961 (Treasurer 1933-1943) and was on the board of the Swedish Performing Rights Society from 1932-1957.

“Du gamla, du fria” (English: “Thou ancient, Thou free”) is the de facto national anthem of Sweden. It was originally named “Sång till Norden” (“Song to the North”), but the first line has since been adopted as the title. The original lyrics were written by Richard Dybeck in 1844, to the melody of a variant from Västmanland of the ballad Kärestans död. It had been recorded by Rosa Wretman in the beginning of the 1840s. Dybeck published the traditional text in Folk-lore I, and the melody in 1845 in his Runa, where he also published his new text “Sång till Norden” [“Song to the North”].  This piece of old Swedish folk music was later arranged for orchestra by Kallstenius in 1933. Dybeck himself originally wrote the beginning as “Du gamla, du friska” (English: “Thou ancient, Thou hale”), but in the late 1850s personally changed the lyrics to “Du gamla, du fria” (Thou ancient, Thou free).

Although the Swedish constitution makes no mention of a national anthem, “Du gamla, du fria” enjoys universal recognition and is used, for example, at government ceremonies as well as sporting events. It first began to win recognition as a patriotic song in the 1890s, and the issue of its status was debated back and forth up until the 1930s. In 1938, the Swedish public service radio company Sveriges Radio started playing it at the end of transmitting in the evenings, which marked the beginning of the de facto status as national anthem the song has had since.  Despite the belief that it was adopted as the national anthem in 1866, no such recognition has ever been officially accorded. A kind of official recognition was when the King Oscar II rose in honor when the song was played, the first time in 1893. In 2000 the Riksdag committee rejected, as “unnecessary”, a proposal to give the song legally official status, repeated later. The committee concluded that the song has been established as anthem by the people, not by the political system, and that it is good to keep it that way.

In addition to arranging Du gamla, Du fria, Kallstenius’s work includes five symphonies and eight string quartets. Also he published an annotated catalogue of Swedish orchestral works.  He achieved an individual style and avoided using only tonal language by devising intense melodies reinforced with imaginative harmony.  He declared that his “musical religion is called harmonics – everything else is secondary” and from this basis he worked out his ‘meticulously declamed themes.”  Although in later works he employed his own personal interpretation of serial style he also composed charming versions of older Swedish music.  He died at Stocksund in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 22, 1967.

The following work by Edvin Kallstenius is contained in my collection:

Du Gamla, Du Fria (arr.).

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Barthell Coal Camp School, Stearns, KY

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Barthell Coal Camp School

Hwy. 742

Stearns, KY 42647

Barthell is a former coal town in McCreary County, Kentucky.  Located just 7 miles west of Stearns, KY off Highway 742, Barthell Coal Camp is a reconstructed 1910 mining camp, with company store, 12 miner’s houses, schoolhouse, and 1909-34 antique cars. During the 1880s-90s, a large portion of the land surrounding the Big South Fork was purchased by L.E. Bryant who began exploring the deposits of coal. In 1901, Byrant sent his associate, John Toomey, to lumber baron Justus S. Stearns in Michigan and convinced him to invest in the mineral rights of the Big South Fork area. By 1902, Barthell was established and work began in Mine No. 1. Dating back to 1902, Barthell was the first of 18 mining camps belonging to the Stearns Coal and Lumber Co.  The first shipment of coal was delivered from Barthell in 1903 after the completion of the Kentucky and Tennessee Railroad from Stearns. During 1905 and 1906, operations expanded at Barthell with the opening of Mine No. 2.  From 1923 to 1927, the Bryant lease was fully purchased by the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company. Business boomed even during the height of the Great Depression, with a record monthly coal production of 100,961 tons of coal in January 1930. The onset of World War II further increased coal production at Barthell, requiring the addition of a second railway line.

The decline of Barthell began in 1943 when the tipple at Mine No. 1 was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. Mine No. 1 was also closed shortly after the fire at the tipple. Coal mined from Mine No. 2 was then sent to the tipple at Mine No. 18 at the Blue Heron Mining complex. The dismantling of the coal camp began in 1952 and was completed in 1961.  In 1984, the Barthell coal camp was purchased by the Koger family, who invested more than $500,000 of their own money into the revitalization of the community. Many of the community’s original structures, such as the company store, doctor’s office, and school house have been renovated and can be toured. Fifteen former coal camp homes have also been renovated and can be rented for overnight stays. It now serves as an open-air history museum, which is open from April through Thanksgiving, offering personal guided0 tours, and cozy Company Houses with modern amenities and old-fashioned charm for overnight stays.  The camp also includes facilities for family reunions, meetings, and other special occasions.

Johann Baptist Holzer and ” Land der Berge”

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Johann Baptist Holzer or Holtzer (May 17, 1753-September 7, 1818) was the most important song and Singspiel composer of Vienna around 1785. Born on May 17, 1753, in Korneuburg, Lower Austria, Holzer, who composed instrumental works as well, became house composer of the Masonic Lodge to which also belonged  a  lodge brother younger by three years named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Holzer is often mentioned in connection with the composition of the melody of the Austrian Federal anthem.  Nineteen days before his death on December 5, 1791, Mozart composed his last complete work, the Freimaurerkantate, K. 623. In parts of the printed edition of this cantata there appeared the song K. 623a “Lasst uns mit geschlungnen Händen” (“Let us with joined hands”). Today, Mozart’s authorship is regarded as dubious, and it is believed that he borrowed the melody from Holzer’s Freemason song In the Name of the Poor (created around 1784).

At least, Holzer’s song shows a very strong structural similarity with today’s Austrian anthem “Land of Mountains, Land by the River” and suggests at least a co-authorship.  Holzer died on September 7, 1818, in Vienna, Austria.  Before the World War II Anschluss, Austria’s anthem was “Sei gesegnet ohne Ende,” to the tune of Haydn’s “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,” the anthem of imperial Austria since 1797. The German national anthem, Lied der Deutschen, uses the same tune, but with different words, and was also the anthem of the Third Reich. To avoid the association, and because singing it was banned for a time after the war, a new anthem was created using Holzer’s tune. The lyrics were written by Paula von Preradović, one of the few women to have written lyrics for a national anthem.  On October 22, 1946, the song was declared Austria’s official national anthem.

My collection includes the following works by Johann B. Holzer:

Land der Berge

Constitution Square Historic Site School, Danville, KY

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

constitutionsq

Constitution Square Historic Site School

105 E. Walnut Street

Danville, KY 40422

Constitution Square Historic Site is a 3-acre park and open-air museum in Danville, Kentucky. From 1937 to 2012, it was a part of the Kentucky state park system and operated by the Kentucky Department of Parks. When dedicated in 1942, it was known as John G. Weisiger Memorial State Park, honoring the brother of Emma Weisiger, who donated the land for the park. Later, it was known as Constitution Square State Shrine and then Constitution Square State Historic Site. On March 6, 2012, the Department of Parks ceded control of the site to the county government of Boyle County, Kentucky, and its name was then changed to Constitution Square Historic Site.  The park celebrates the early political history of the U.S. state of Kentucky. It features replicas of three buildings that stood on the original city square, including the original courthouse that housed ten constitutional conventions between 1785 and 1792, along with the jail, and meetinghouse, which were constructed as authentically as possible based on available records; these conventions ultimately led to Kentucky’s separation from Virginia. It also includes the original building that housed the first U.S. post office west of the Allegheny Mountains and several other early 19th century buildings of historical import. The site comprises the majority of the Constitution Square Historic District which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 2, 1976.

Little is known of the brick schoolhouse that faces west onto Constitution Square and stands between the Watts-Bell House and Grayson’s Tavern. Local tradition holds that it dates to approximately the same time as the buildings near it and that it housed a private school. According to the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, it was constructed around 1820 and was the first brick schoolhouse west of the Allegheny Mountains. The single-story, two-room edifice is built upon a fieldstone foundation with brick laid in common bond and an off-center entrance with a transom above. While Constitution Square was a part of the state park system, the park manager lived in the schoolhouse. After the park’s transfer to Boyle County, the schoolhouse was converted into a conference center with meeting space.  Constitution Square lies between Main Street and Walnut Street on the north and south, respectively, and between First Street and Second Street on the east and west, respectively. Among the annual events held at the site are the Great American Brass Band Festival and the Kentucky State Barbecue Festival.

John Ireland and “A Dowland Suite”

john_nicholson_ireland_(circa_1920)

John Nicholson Ireland (August 13, 1879 –June 12, 1962) was an English composer and teacher of music, the majority of whose output consists of piano miniatures and of songs with piano, with his best-known works including the short instrumental or orchestral work “The Holy Boy,” a setting of the poem “Sea Fever” by John Masefield, a formerly much-played Piano Concerto, the hymn tune Love Unknown, and the choral motet “Greater Love Hath No Man.”  Ireland was born on August 13, 1879, in Bowdon, near Altrincham, Cheshire, England, into a family of Scottish descent and some cultural distinction. His father, Alexander Ireland, a publisher and newspaper proprietor, was aged 69 at John’s birth. John was the youngest of the five children from Alexander’s second marriage (his first wife had died). His mother, Annie Elizabeth Nicholson Ireland, was a biographer and 30 years younger than Alexander. She died in October 1893, when John was 14, and Alexander died the following year, when John was 15.  John Ireland was described as “a self-critical, introspective man, haunted by memories of a sad childhood”.

Ireland entered the Royal College of Music in 1893, studying piano with Frederic Cliffe, and organ, his second study, under Walter Parratt.  From 1897 he studied composition under Charles Villiers Stanford.  From Stanford, Ireland inherited a thorough knowledge of the music of Beethoven, Brahms and other German classical composers, but as a young man he was also strongly influenced by Debussy and Ravel as well as by the earlier works of Stravinsky and Bartók. From these influences, he developed his own brand of “English Impressionism,” related more closely to French and Russian models than to the folk-song style then prevailing in English music. In 1896 Ireland was appointed sub-organist at Holy Trinity, Sloane Street, London, and later, from 1904 until 1926, was organist and choirmaster at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. Due to his job at St Luke’s Church, he also wrote hymns, carols, and other sacred choral music; among choirs he is probably best known for the anthem Greater love hath no man, often sung in services that commemorate the victims of war. The hymn tune Love Unknown is sung in churches throughout the English-speaking world, as is his Communion Service in C major.

Ireland began to make his name in the early 1900s as a composer of songs and chamber music. His Violin Sonata No. 1 of 1909 won first prize in an international competition organized by the well-known patron of chamber music W. W. Cobbett. Ireland frequently visited the Channel Islands and was inspired by the landscape. In 1912 he composed the piano piece The Island Spell (the first of the three pieces in his set Decorations) while staying on Guernsey.  Even more successful was his Violin Sonata No. 2, which was completed in January 1917, and submitted to a competition organized to assist musicians in wartime. The jury included the violinist Albert Sammons and the pianist William Murdoch, who together gave the work its first performance at Aeolian Hall in New Bond Street on March 6 that year. The work was enthusiastically reviewed, and the publisher Winthrop Rogers offered immediate publication. The first edition was sold out even before it had been processed by the printers. A subsequent performance of the Violin Sonata by Ireland and the violinist Désiré Defauw drew a packed audience to the Wigmore Hall in London.

From 1923 he taught at the Royal College of Music.  His pupils there included Richard Arnell, Ernest John Moeran, Benjamin Britten (who later described Ireland as possessing “a strong personality but a weak character”), composer Alan Bush,[ Geoffrey Bush (no relation to Alan), who subsequently edited or arranged many of Ireland’s works for publication, and Anthony Bernard.  On December 17, 1926, aged 47, Ireland married a 17-year pupil, Dorothy Phillips. He took a similar interest in another young student, Helen Perkin (1909–1996), a pianist and composer, to whom he dedicated both the Piano Concerto in E-flat major and the Legend for piano and orchestra (which began life as a second concerto). She gave the premiere performance of both works.  His Piano Sonatina (1926–27) and a number from his cycle Songs Sacred and Profane (1929) were dedicated to his friend the conductor and BBC music producer Edward Clark.  His set of three pieces for piano Sarnia: An Island Sequence was written on Guernsey in 1940. He was evacuated from the islands just before the German invasion during World War II.

In 1947 Ireland acquired a personal assistant, Mrs Norah Kirkby, who remained with him till his death.  On September 10, 1949, Ireland’s 70th birthday was celebrated in a special Prom concert, at which his Piano Concerto was played by Eileen Joyce, who had been the first pianist to record the concerto in 1942.  Ireland wrote his only film score for the 1946 Australian film The Overlanders, from which an orchestral suite was extracted posthumously by Charles Mackerras. He appears as pianist in a recording of his Fantasy-Sonata for Clarinet and Piano with Frederick Thurston, his Cello Sonata with cellist Antoni Sala, and his Violin Sonata No. 1 with Frederick Grinke, who performed and recorded several of his chamber works. Some of his pieces, such as the popular A Downland Suite and Themes from Julius Caesar, were completed or re-transcribed after his death by his student Geoffrey Bush. His works have been recorded and performed by Choir of Westminster Abbey, The Choir of Wells Cathedral, and many others.

Like most other Impressionist composers, Ireland favored small forms and wrote neither symphonies nor operas, although his Piano Concerto is considered among his best works. His output includes some chamber music and a substantial body of piano works, including his best-known piece The Holy Boy, known in numerous arrangements. His songs to poems by A. E. Housman, Thomas Hardy, Christina Rossetti, John Masefield, Rupert Brooke and others are a valuable addition to English vocal repertoire.  Ireland retired in 1953, settling in the hamlet of Rock in Sussex, where he lived in a converted windmill for the rest of his life. It was there he met the young pianist Alan Rowlands who would be Ireland’s choice to record his complete piano music.  In 1959 he declined the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  He died, aged 82, of heart failure at Rock Mill in Washington, Sussex, England, on June 12, 1962, and is buried at St. Mary the Virgin in Shipley, near his home.  His epitaph reads “Many waters cannot quench love” and “One of God’s noblest works lies here.”

The following works by John Ireland are contained in my collection:

Bagatelle (1911).

Berceuse (1902).

Cavatina (1904).

A Dowland Suite (1932).

Sarnia: In a May Morning (1941).

Soliloquy (1922).

Sonata in gm (for cello and strings, 1923).

Summer Evening  (1920).

Hindman Settlement School, Hindman, KY

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

marie-stewart

Hindman Settlement School–Marie Stewart Museum and Craft Shop

25 Orchard Branch

Hindman, KY 41822

Hindman Settlement School is a settlement school located in Hindman, Kentucky, in Knott County. Established in 1902, it was the first rural settlement school in America.  The mission of Hindman Settlement School is “to provide educational and service opportunities for the people of the mountains, while keeping them mindful of their heritage.”  The Marie Stewart Museum & Craft Shop, formerly across from the Settlement School, supports the activities of the school. The store sells traditional Appalachian crafts and has an online site. Upstairs is a small museum with exhibits about the Hindman Settlement School and regional crafts.  Hindman Settlement School has relocated the Marie Stewart Museum & Crafts shop from the log building on Highway 160 to its central campus. The move is an attempt to make it easier for campus guests to visit the crafts store and museum while they are on campus.  The former crafts shop location has been renovated into dormitory-style housing and renamed the Furman House, after Lucy Furman. Furman was a writer who arrived at the Settlement School in 1907 and spent several years as a housemother. She built a house up the hill from the Furman House with the proceeds of her novel, The Quare Women.  The new crafts shop is attached to the back of Uncle Sol’s Cabin, which now houses the museum portion of the shop. The Marie Stewart Museum & Crafts Shop is named after Marie Stewart, a Settlement School graduate. Her daughter, Jess Stoddart, published a definitive history of Hindman Settlement School in 2002, and contributed to the preservation of the former crafts shop building.  The crafts shop will be open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and through special arrangement.

Luís de Freitas-Branco and his Symphony No. 1 (1924). 

freitas-branco

Luís Maria da Costa de Freitas Branco (October 12, 1890 –November 27, 1955) was a Portuguese composer, musicologist, and professor of music who introduced modernism in Portuguese music and played a pre-eminent part in the development of Portuguese music in the first half of the 20th century.  Freitas Branco was born at Lisbon, Portugal on October 12, 1890, into an aristocratic family who for centuries had had close ties to the royal family in Portugal.  His younger brother Pedro de Freitas Branco was Portuguese conductor.  Luis had a cosmopolitan education, studied piano and violin beginning in childhood, and began composing at a precocious age. Studying music in Berlin and Paris, where he worked with Engelbert Humperdinck and other composers, he returned to Portugal and married Estela Diniz de Ávila e Sousa, daughter of João Deodato de Ávila e Sousa.   His son was the musicologist João De Freitas Branco (1922-1989).

Freitas Branco  became professor of composition starting in 1916 at the Lisbon Conservatory of Music, where he became a leading force in restructuring musical education. There he taught, among many others, Joly Braga Santos. His principal body of work is contained in the four symphonies, composed between 1924 and 1952.  Also he composed the Scherzo Fantastique (1907), a Violin Concerto (1916), several symphonic poems, Alentejo Suites No. 1 (1919) and No. 2 (1927), and music for films.  During the 1930s he increasingly encountered political difficulties with the authorities and was finally forced into retirement from his official duties in 1939. He continued to compose, however, and to pursue his research into Portuguese early music, publishing several books and numerous articles. His book about the musical works of King John IV of Portugal (1603–1656), an accomplished composer who introduced new music to Portugal, was published only in the year after Branco’s death which occurred at Lisbon, on November 27, 1955.

My collection includes the following works by Luís de Freitas-Branco:

Scherzo Fantastique (1907).

Suite Alentejana No. 1 (1917).

Symphony No. 1 (1924).