Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960)


Rudén no. 183

  • Year of composition: Dated Tibble 5 December 1941
  • Work category: Mixed choir a cappella
  • Text author: Kerstin Hed
  • Duration: 3 min

Solo voices/choir


Examples of printed editions

Stockholm 1942, CG 3350. Gehrmans kör-bibliotek, 151

  • Location autograph: Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek
  • Possible call no. and autograph comment: UUB VMhs 185:16c

Description of work

Andante C minor 4/4

Work comment

Hugo Alfvén wrote this original composition in 1941, when he was occupied with his series of folk song arrangements. He was then deeply immersed in the melodic language of the folk songs, which induced him to write a folklike melody to the Hedemora poet Kerstin Hed´s text about "the nightingale of our home district". One seems to hear melody quotations from several well-known folk songs, but Alfvén has nevertheless created an idiomatic melody to the poem. On two occasions the flow of the melody is broken and the sopranos sing arabesques that are reminiscent of the bird´s song.


Han sitter i en yvig tall
i furuskogens gömma,
han kan ej såsom lärkan slå
bland skyarna sin drill;
men djupt i skogens sus och svall
där älskar han att drömma,
att tala på sitt eget språk
och sjunga som han vill.

Och mången främling stannar nog
och hör hur trasten talar,
men fattar icke stämmans klang
ur furudungen sval.
Vi enkla folk bland ås och skog,
vi barn av karga Dalar
förstå och älska sången
av vår hembygds näktergal.

In English:
He sits upon a wispy pine,
concealed in verdant haven,
inept to sing a lark-like trill
on yonder blue divine.
But deep within the forest green
he loves to yearn and daydream,
and speak his song thrush native tongue,
sing to his heart's content.
Yet many strangers stop their gate,
to listen to his call,
they value not his melody,
his harmony or tone.
Us simple folk of hills and dales,
a tribe of arid woodlands,
appreciate; adore the song
by our local nightingale.

Translation: Annika Vallgren