A case of revision!

In 2003 I started composing what would become my first major piece: “A Swedish St Mark Passion”. I had a long time before wondered why there were not any Swedish setting of one of the most important storys to tell in christianity. I had by then worked almost 20 year as an organist within the church of Sweden and felt strongly that I wanted to make a contribution. At the same time I felt the importance of adding something new to the repertoire. My first vision was that a soprano soloist should do the part of the Evangelist. It had never been done before in music history. I also wanted the work to be influenced by Swedish folk music where women always had played a significant role. The hymns included were well known Swedish folk tunes. I also used the idioms of Baroque era, this one can tell by the musical structure and the polyphonic way of writing. To these components I added a lot of my own musical style that I had developed through the years, a style that could be characterized as filled with contrasts and mixed influences. Also quite so called modern ( I am not to found of that expression, since all notes, scales and chords are already “discovered” by now) chords and expressions. Two choirs, where the female choir (or boys choir) sings in unison at the first and last movement together with the mixed chorus. A small instrumental ensemble consisting of an Oboe, Bassoon, String quintet & Organ. The duration of the piece is set to about 70 minutes. No arias. Just the intense story itself, where one need one major soloist more: Christ, as a bass-baritone. The other smaller parts are done by members of the choir. I choose the gospel of St Mark since it was very straight forward, shorter and more likely to fit with the Swedish folk idiom. The Hymn texts was created by the famous Swedish author: Bengt Pohjanen.

The work was premiered on April 4th, 2004 in Härnösands Cathedral. It was broadcasted by the Swedish Radio and got a very successful response. Since then the work has been performed over 60 times which has to be considered as an achievement for being a contemporary piece. It has also been performed in Norway, United Kingdom and the USA. It’s been recorded on CD. After almost 15 years I felt that I wanted to make a revision. It’s my first major attempt and I have since then written several oratorios and passions. With this revision I want to simply some parts to make the work technically more accessible. That counts for both the soloist part as well as the choral sections. I also want to address some textual issues and of course some clarifications in the score. At last I have changed the organ part, the orchestration, so that you now is not depending on an organ with pedals. This new version will be published this year as well as being premiered on April 4th (Falun) and April 5th (Stockholm). This means that 2021 there will be a new version obtainable which suits the fact that St Mark is the official gospel during the time of passion in our churches.