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KVANDAL & BÄCK | A double centennial

Purchase passes for Saturday September 14th in Seattle





In the summer program of its 26th concert season, The Esoterics will celebrate the life and work of two Scandinavian choral musicians who were born eight days apart: the Norwegian composer Johan Kvandal (8 September), and the Swedish composer Sven-Erik Bäck (16 September). Johan Kvandal was the son of a composer who frequented artist colonies in his youth and studied with Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire de Paris. With strong influences from both Norwegian folk and international contemporary musics, Kvandal developed his own language, a “modern tonality,” and spoke out strongly again the prevailing avant garde.

Kvandal’s Swedish contemporary, Sven-Erik Bäck, after completing his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm, traveled to Rome to study with Goffredo Petrassi, a leading teacher of European modernism. While Bäck’s choral music sets conservative Biblical texts, his compositional treatment of these verses was anything but traditional. In this sacred program, The Esoterics will perform all twelve of Sven-Erik Bäck’s Motetter för kyrkoåret [Motets for the church year] in Swedish, as well as all of Johan Kvandal’s sacred works for unaccompanied choir: The ballad of peace, The miracle, Three motets, and Sleepers, wake.  This program will be a fascinating remembrance of Kvandal and Bäck, and their not-quite-parallel lives in choral music.

The Esoterics will offer only one single performance of KVANDAL & BÄCK.
Please join us as we celebrate the centennials of these composers at St James Cathedral!

Program list:

Works by Johan Kvandal:

  • Balladen om freden [The ballad of peace] (1987)
  • Tre motetter [Three motets] (1963-1971)
  • Underet [The miracle] (1986)
  • Våkn op du som sover [Sleepers, wake] (1950)

Works by Sven-Erik Bäck:

  • 12 Motetter för kyrkoåret [Motets for the church year] in Swedish:
    • Bedjen, och Eder skall varda givet (1963)
    • Dessa äro de som komma ur den stora bedrövelsen (1961)
    • Den stund kommer (1964)
    • Han blev lydig intill döden (1959)
    • Icke kommer var och en in i himmelriket (1963)
    • Jag är livets bröd (1959)
    • Jesus, tänk på mig (1959)
    • Natten är framskriden (1959)
    • Och ordet vart kött (1960)
    • Se, vi gå upp till Jerusalem (1959)
    • Utrannsaka mig (1970)
    • Vaken för den skull (1966)

14 September 2019 | 800pm | St James Cathedral | 804 9th Avenue | Seattle