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Jón Leifs - Edda, Part II

Composer Jón Leifs
Performer Elmar Gilbertsson
Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis
Kristinn Sigmundsson
Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Hermann Bäumer, conductor
Period Modernism
Catalogue Number BIS-2420 SACD
EAN 7318599924205
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jun 2019
Total time 64'38

The music of Jón Leifs is often inspired by Iceland’s powerful nature and literary heritage. From early on he was profoundly influenced by the medieval tradition of Icelandic literature, preserved in a handful of manuscripts, including the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. Leifs’ magnum opus is the Edda oratorio, a massive (although incomplete) work in three large parts which occupied him on and off for most of his composing career – from around 1930 to his death in 1968. A partial performance of Edda I – The Creation of the World – met with incomprehension, and Leifs only resumed work on his great project a decade later, completing the second part – The Lives of the Gods – in 1966. He immediately started on the third part of the oratorio, and was still working on it at the time of his death. Neither of the two finished parts were performed in his lifetime, Edda I receiving its first complete performance in 2006 and Edda II in 2018, in conjunction with the recording of the present disc. Leifs’ music is as ruggedly grandiose as its subject matter and the score calls for vocal soloists, choir and large orchestra, making huge demands on the performers. Once again the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the intrepid Schola Cantorum join forces under the baton of conductor Hermann Bäumer, following up on their acclaimed recording of Edda I, which was described by reviewers as ‘one of the recording events of the year’ (Gramophone) and ‘splendid in its craggy and intensely individual lyricism and magnificence’ (
Choose format
  Jón Leifs
  Edda, Part II: Líf Guðanna (The Lives Of The Gods) 63'58
01 I. Óðinn (Odin) 19'00
02 II. Synir Óðins (Sons of Odin) 10'18
03 III. Ásynjur (Goddesses) 20'01
04 IV. Valkyrjur (Valkyries) 2'46
05 V. Nornir (Norns) 4'58
06 VI. Einherjar (Warriors) 6'55
  Album total 64'38
ComposerLeifs, Jón
Mezzo-sopranoSturludóttir, Hanna Dóra
TenorGilbertsson, Elmar
BassSigmundsson, Kristinn
OrchestraIceland Symphony Orchestra
ConductorBäumer, Hermann

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