to the website for "Norges Melodier" (Norwegian Melodies). This
CD is a collection of my favorite Norwegian songs, and the songs
that I am most often asked to sing for the Norwegian-American community
in America. I have spent a lifetime with this music. There are mainly
folksongs and "romanser" on this CD. The "romanser"
are art songs. They were written for piano and voice, with both
parts being equally important in creating the mood and telling the
story of the song. They are like mini-plays where you have three
minutes to tell your tale.
Those of us who dedicate ourselves to performing Scandinavian
music in the United States certainly do not do it for fame or fortune.
We do it because we can't help ourselves! We love the culture, and
we are passionate about preserving and sharing our heritage. There
is a treasure trove of Norwegian songs that is rarely heard in America.
As you listen to the delicate beauty of “Mot Kveld,”
the sorrow of “Synnøves Sang,” the joy of “Per
Spelmann,” the drama of “Tyteberet,” and the passion
of “En Drøm,” we hope that this CD will give
you a taste of the great variety to be found in Norwegian songs,
and that it will whet your appetite to hear more.
As the years go by, there are fewer and fewer people in America
who speak Norwegian. This has made it difficult for singers to learn
the correct pronunciation or to get translations of Norwegian songs.
Hopefully, the CD will help singers with the former, and this website
will address the latter. The translations will also help the casual
listener to gain more enjoyment from these wonderful songs. I have
gathered information on all of the composers and poets who wrote
these songs and included that on the website. I hope that this will
aid people who are planning programs of Scandinavian music who would
like to include this kind of information in their program notes.
I have often wished for a site like this, so here it is!
As I have not been able to locate any Landsmaal/English dictionaries,
I would like to thank several people who helped me with obscure
Norwegian words: Rev. Lars Erik Espeland, and his wife, Randi, and
my cousins, Sissel Olsen, Tor Arne Jacobsen and his wife, Judith,
and Terje Tønnesen and his wife, Kikki. A special thank you
to my cousin, Målfrid Grimsby who has been an enormous help
to me, and to her husband, Johan Grimsby, driver and extraordinary
tour guide, who patiently drove me all over southern Norway so that
I could take the pictures for this website. Tusen Takk to my son
for turning his mother into a Webmaster. I am blessed with a wonderful
family and dear friends!