Those Scandinavians who reside in Australia, refuse to believe its Autumn here in Australia. And who can blame them when the temperatures are more like Spring in the Nordic countries.
With that in mind, the Swedish church was the venue for the Scandinavian choir to host a concert. Spring certainly was in the air in the fabulous acoustics of the Nazareth church. the steps lead to the choir mezzanine.
‘Saa laange skutan kan gaa’, ‘Vaarsang’, ‘Solen glimmar blank og trind’ resounded through the church.
Moving the Finnish population present was Karjalan Kunnailla, a haunting song about the eviction of one third of the Finnish population from their homelands in Karelia, during 1939 – 1941. Blinds were compulsorily drawn on the carriages of the trains that ferried these people to their new residence. Some were never to see their rich and fertile homelands again. This tune effectively conveys a mourning aching in the soul.
Kupaleja, the traditional Scandinavian folk music band comprising members who are svensk, dansk and norsk, and Australian, played some fun old ditties from years gone by and also led the sing-a-longs in Norsk i roedt, hvitt og blaatt, Jeg ved en laerkerede, Tula tullalla, I denna ljuva sommartid and more.
These wonderful old songs resound in my head and the melodies for me are truly immortal, spanning generation gaps. Music is a universal language, needing no literal translation to convey feelings. For this reason alone, this music, more common to the 18 and 19th century must be preserved.
Music is also a wonderful way to learn a foreign language. And it is fun. The highlight of the evening was a performance by soloist Annaliese with a soprano rendition of Solveig’s song by Edvard Greig…. simply awe inspiring.
For me this church has a special meaning and is a significant place to hold an event such as this. The entrance to the Swedish Lutheran Nazarene church, one which my Great Great Grandmother would have no doubt attended in her elder years when she immigrated to Australia as she lived in the vicinity as well as my Danish great grandfather, the first one to undertake immigration to the New world…..