Hymn of St. Magnus
für: Variables Ensemble (4-stimmig)
Hymn of St. Magnus is the oldest written example of Nordic polyphony. It is dated around year 1200. It’s origin is the Orkney Islands and it’s characterized by moving, parallel thirds. The hymn is dedicated to Magnus Erlendsson (Magnus the Martyr), who was an earl at Orkney Islands at the end of the Viking age. This was obviously tough and bloody times for people in power, and Magnus was eventually cut down during a battle with a rival, which led to him being declared a saint. This arrangement describes the battle Magnus was involved in. The melody is here somewhat simplified from the original version, but with a slightly modern twist. Parts of the song is ideal to be learnt bymemory and performed with some sort of stage show. The drums in the song is supposed to be fierce war drums - the deeper, the better! The indicated drum rhythm is just suggested and may well be decorated with stylish details. It is also important that the melody is played as it would be sung in a choir, with long, beautiful phrases. The bass riff should be played like it would have been played on a rock guitar!