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Songs by Poul Schierbeck published for the first time

2018-01-23
Schierbeck is first and foremost known for his vocal works, and the works now published are for voice and piano, and choir a capella.

Poul Schierbeck © Det Kgl. Biblioteks billedsamling

Poul Schierbeck (1888-1949) was an organist and composer with an oeuvre spanning from popular songs like ‘I Danmark er jeg født’ to the opera 'Féte galante', film music, and more. He was a pupil of Carl Nielsen, and for decades was the most sought-after composer of cantatas in Denmark.

A selection of previously unpublished works by Schierbeck will now see the light of day.

Some of the works are found in Schierbeck’s old notebooks dating all the way back to 1912. Most were performed when they were first composed, but none of them have ever been published before, and it is this fine material that is now finally being made available to singers, choirs and musicians across the country. 

Schierbeck was inspired by his two teachers Carl Nielsen and Thomas Laub, as well as by the ideal of the strophic song, which they both explored and developed at the time. Schierbeck truly mastered the art of composing a simple, singable song that captures the atmosphere of the text, and this is what we find in the newly published songs.

One of the works worth highlighting is 'Chant de Viking' for voice and piano. The text is a French translation of Grundtvig’s 'Sol er oppe' by Paul Verrier – a French professor teaching Nordic languages at The University of Sorbonne. Another is 'Til musikken' composed on the occasion of the 40-year anniversary of the Academic Orchestra in 1939. When Schierbeck achieved widespread success, he was often asked to compose songs for specific occasions, and 'Til musikken' is one of these works which is still very much worth revisiting today. 'Til musikken' was written for reciter, mixed choir and orchestra - the version now published consists of the choir a capella songs, and soon the orchestra version will also be available. 

The new edition of Poul Schierbeck works consists until now of 10 songs for voice and piano and 8 songs for choir a capella. See the list of works, and peruse the scores here.

The edition will continue in the future with the publication of previously unpublished works for orchestra and more. 

The publication is made possible with financial support from the Schierbeck Foundation and is edited by Christine Canals-Frau.

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