Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Sacral Jazz at Trefaldighetskyrkan

A trial project for choir singing at the church of Trefaldighetskyrkan, Kristianstad.

Church of Trefaldighetskyrkan, Kristianstad.

The Church of Trefaldighetskyrkan

This church was constructed by the Danish King Christian IV in 1628. It is praised as the finest renaissance church in northern Europe. With its tall pillars it allows ample of light to enter giving a sense of airiness. The architectural drawings where made by a dutchman, Lorenz van Steenwinkel, and the organ designed by the german-danish Johan Lorenz. In addition to the Sunday Mass and weekly morning prayers also concerts and other happenings are organized in the church regularly. The new organist, Kalle Engquist has taken an initiative to examine the interest for choir singing in the church. The choir is therefore named the "Project Choir" with two upcoming performances.

Interior of the Curch.

The First Performance: Choir Concert "Freedom".

The organist Kalle Engquist had his first contact with works of the famous Swedish jazz musician Lars Gullin during his studies. Addition of a part of Jazz Legend Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts from the 60's in the program presented by the internationally notorious duo of Håkan Lewin (alto saxophone) and Johannes Landgren (organs) attracted a large audience to this jazz filled evening. Lewin and Landgren were involved in founding the association "Music Against Violence" or MAV that brings  out a message of humanity, coexistence and peace. We carefully noted that Lewin was granted the "Christer Boustedt Award" in 2007. This award is one of the most prestigious in Sweden for jazz musicians (Christer Boustedt himself was regarded as one of the foremost alto saxophonists  in Sweden). The soloist, soprano Cecilia Alrikson, is also a jazz singer and specially involved in cross-over projects from psalms and 17th century music. Jon-Erik Björänge, on drums, has played with many ensembles and travelled widely internationally. (www.ellingtonandmore.com)

The crowd is filling up the church.

The program started with three spirituals ("Nobody Knows", "Wade in the Water" and "All my Trials") to be followed by Duke Ellington's music mainly from his second Sacred Concert in 1968. This concert was the first one that the Swedish celebrity singer Alice Babs recorded with the Duke Ellington Ensemble. She sang "Heaven" and "T.G.T.T". She also participated in the third sacred concert singing "Is God a three letter word for Love" and "My Love". This music was specifically written for her clear voice extending over three octaves. Duke Ellington often visited Sweden performing in TV and churches where Alice Babs was a central figure (Wikipedia). 

Håkan Lewin, right.

The smaller organ Johannes Landgren played.

The program then continued with Lars Gullins (jazz) music. As a jazz musician he was related to other musicians like Stan Getz and his music sometimes reminds of the jazz music played on the American west coast in the 50's (www.gullin.net). Gullin is considered to be one of Europe´s foremost jazz musicians of his time and her combined styles from national romantic music with folk music and jazz to very much his own music. Two songs, "Dyningar" and "Bossa på tå(b)", have texts based on a book ("Höga Visan") from the Bible (Old Testament) containing Love Lyrics. A third song, "Jag Såg" is also from a book (Predikaren) in the Old Testament talking about emptiness. The final song was called "Fågel, fisk och mittemellan".

Selected interiors from the church.

This concert was a success both from a musical point of view and the fact that a large audience attended. Based on the first trial Kalle Engquist can feel relaxed. The second concert will be an Advent Sunday and Christmas concert on 30th November at 18.00 hours and we wish best of luck as we do welcome additional concerts in the future.

The final picture is taken from the outside of Trefaldighetskyrkan in the darkening night. The light inside sends out warm greetings as we head our way back home. 

Late night outside Trefaldighetskyrkan.

Thank you for this outstanding jazz & choir concert! Have a very good week everyone!


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