Advent Calendar Day 12: Det är en ros utsprungen (Sandström)

I was looking for a good recording of the beautiful old German carol, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, when I found this.

It’s sort of the same carol, if you slowed it right down and made it strange and reflective and echoey and much more haunting and wistful.

Looking at Jan Sandström’s biography, he is apparently a contemporary composer – born in 1954, in fact – from Sweden, and his compositions include the Motorbike Concerto for trombone and orchestra.  Already, that sounds promising.  In fact, that sounds so promising, I had to go and find a recording of it, and because I love you, I am going to share it.  Here you go.  Don’t you feel better for listening to it?  It really does sound very motorbikish.  I’m not sure how much it sounds like a concerto, but I am 100% sure that Andrew, at least, is going to love this.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that Sandström’s specialty is writing music that sounds like a picture of what he is writing.  (I keep on wanting to call it music that is like a soundtrack, or sound effect, because to me that’s what it reminds me of, but this sounds as though I’m being dismissive, which really isn’t my intention)

Back to the carol, what you probably really want to know is that this composition was based on the version by Praetorius, written in the late 16th or early 17th century.  If you want to know how the carol usually sounds, here’s a rather lovely recording by the Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter, no less, which should give you the idea…

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