'Horgalåten,' a melody with a devilish past, became the popular grand finale at a recent Swedish concert in Detroit, Mich.
When 40 music students from Motala, Sweden delighted the audience at St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan with “Horgalåten” (Horga-tune), and made many tap their feet, it was probably fortunate that the listeners did not know in what danger they were. According to the Horga legend from the early 19th century, a man in a dark cape tempted young people to dance during a Sunday service. They started dancing to this contagious melody and could not stop. The man led them up to dance at the Hårga mountain. Suddenly they saw that the man had a goat foot—he was the devil himself. They danced ceaselessly until they all died. According to old beliefs, the violin was the instrument of the devil.
“Horgalåten” is in a minor key, like most Swedish folk music. The melody was started by the cellos in the Swedish String Chamber Orchestra, expanded by the Big Band, the Jazz Ensemble and the Folk Music Group to a grand finale of a great one-hour performance. Director Therese Klenfeldt practically danced in front of the orchestra.
From chamber music to jazz and folk
That was at the end of an entertaining concert which began with a crowd pleaser, Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso, played by the String Band and led by music director Hans-Peter Rauber. Ellinor Andersson was violin soloist in “Två akvareller” by Tor Aulin.
Klenfeldt directed the Big Band in “Birdland” and made the people clap their hands. Their “All of Me” from the Great American Songbook brought the applause to the roof.
The talented teenagers from Motala Music School comprise the group “Music from Sweden.” They are touring with their four music teachers/directors, Klenfeldt, Hans-Peter Rauber, Tania Frid and Per Eckerbom.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
"Music from Sweden" toured Michigan in June as part of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program. It is one of several European musical groups that will visit Michigan during 2011 as part of Blue Lake's International Exchange Program. Blue Lake is best known for the Fine Arts Camp it operates each summer. This summer more than 5,500 young musicians will attend.
Rich Fanning, who teaches instrumental music at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, has taught at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for the past seven years. Each summer he directs the “Gold” jazz band which includes the most advanced jazz student-musicians. Last summer, he and his wife led a three-week European tour of eighteen student-musicians in performances in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Luxemburg.
By Lisbeth Nordström-Lerner
M.D., Swedish-American, Southfield, MI
For more info on the International Exchange Program and Camp: Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp