Icelandic musical heritage on Wednesday
Hallgrímskirkja’s multi-prized chamber choir, Schola Cantorum, gives ana cappella concert every Wednesday at noon this summer and tomorrow, July 6, is no exception. On the programme is alluring Icelandic choir music specially chosen for the church’s great acoustics, among them Heyr himna smiður, considered by many to be the most beautiful hymn ever written in Iceland and a great favourite of the nation.
Heyr himna smiður became a surprise internet hit a couple of years ago when recorded by young musicians in a train station and has as a consequence become very well known and been performed by choirs worldwide.
The concert starts at 12 noon. Tickets can be bought 1 hour before the concert at the entrance (2500 ISK).
An all-female organ concert on Thursday
Organ pieces by women are on the programme of organist Sigrún Magna Þórsteinsdóttir on Thursday July 7 at 12 noon. Her concert is a part of the International Organ Summer series in Hallgrímskirkja. Þórsteinsdóttir is organist in Akureyri town in North Iceland. The composers are from Europe and the USA and born in the 19th and 20th century and write in very different styles.
Oldest of them is Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn’s sister, born in 1805 in Germany. Florence B. Price was the first African-American woman to have her composition performed by a symphony orchersta in 1933 and Emma Lou Diemer is a retired, American organist and professor of composition. Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir is a local composer, her work ordered by the National Church of Icleand in 2012 and inspired by texts from the Book of Revelations.
Tickets are sold at the entrance 1 hour before the concert (2000 ISK).
Organ French for beginners
“French for beginners” could be the title of Reykjavík Cathedral organist Kári Þormar’s concert this coming weekend in Hallgrímskirkja. Thormar has put togeather a programme of accessible French organ music from the 19th and 20th century. The organ tradition is rich in France and magnificent French organ pieces are abundent.
The oldest of the composers chosen is César Franck, born in 1822, a productive teacher and composer in Paris renowned for his marvellous talent for improvisation. The youngest is Lebanese-French composer Naji Hakim, born in 1955 in Beirut and in 1993 successing the great Messiaen as organist of the Holy Trinity Church in Paris. Thormar will also play works by Widor, Langlais, Alain and Boëlman.
Thormar’s concerts are on Saturday July 9 at 12 noon (2000 ISK) and on Sunday July 10 at 5 pm (2500 ISK). Tickets are sold 1 hour before each concert at the church and online at www.midi.is.