The festive and beautiful national anthem of Iceland was for a long time considered too difficult for the ordinary person to sing and surrounded with a certain holiness. This has been changing rapidly over the past years and the anthem can now be heard more readily (e.g. at football games!). The Hallgrímskirkja chamber choir Schola cantorum has been bringing the national antnem, Lofsöngur, to its audience this summer at their weekly Wednesday concerts as part of their introduction of Icelandic choir music.
This week is no exception, with coffee, tea and a sweet something available for concert guests afterwards. The choir welcomes both Icelanders and travellers for a chat about the flourishing music life in Hallgrímskirkja and even allow a sneak peek at their brand new CD, publicly out next week.
The Wednesday concert starts at 12 noon (30 min). Tickets are at the entrance from 11 am at 2500 ISK. Conductor is Hörður Áskelsson, cantor of Hallgrímskirkja.
The weekly Thursday organ concert will be played by Friðrik Vignir Stefánsson, organist of Seltjarnarnes church in the Reykjavík area. His grand programme consists of two French organ suites, Suite du Deuxieme Ton by Clérambault, a baroque piece, and the famous Suite Gothique from the late 19th century by Boëllman. The final chapter of the Gothic Suite, the toccata, is a thrilling composition, a highly enjoyable listening any time on the
marvellous Klais organ of Hallgrímskirkja.
The Thursday concert starts at 12 noon (30 min). Tickets are at the entrance from 11 am at 2000 ISK.
Sibelius’ solemn piece Finlandia will be performed the coming weekend on the organ, arranged by Swedish organist Mattias Wager, who will play a concert on both Saturday and Sunday in Hallgrímskirkja. Wager has an exciting programme in store for the audience with French classics and Swedish compositions based on folk songs along with J.S. Bach’s Air.
Wager’s talents at improvisation are renowned and at the Sunday concert he will play no less than two improvisations on Icelandic tunes, one in the style of French baroque, the other in a more northern style. Wager is organist at the Storkyrkan church in Stockholm and a regular guest at the Klais organ of Hallgrímskirkja.
The Saturday concert starts at 12 noon (30 min). Tickets are at the entrance from 11 am at 2000 ISK.
The Sunday concert starts at 5 pm (60 min.). Tickets are at the entrance from 4 pm at 2500 ISK.
Tickets for the weekend concerts also available online here.