Cultural Grant from the American Scandinavian Society
Soprano Lisa Daehlin is honored to have been chosen by the American Scandinavian Society as one of this year’s Cultural Grant Award winners. Tusen takk!
The ceremony and concert was held at the historic Pier A Harbor House building in Lower Manhattan, and afforded a stunning view of the skyline away from the city, including the Statue of Liberty. Quite an evening, to be given such an acknowledgment by descendants of immigrants who hail from the same part of the world as do my ancestors. Those of us chosen were invited to share some of our artistry. For my part, supported by Tor Morten Kjøsnes on the piano, I performed 2 songs:
– “Våren” (1881), op.33, no.2, tekst: Aasmund Olavsson Vinje (1818-70), musikk: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
– “All the Things You Are”, from Very Warm for May (1939), lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), music: Jerome Kern (1885-1945)
The first of these two selections, “Våren”, I had spent time learning/honing/performing last summer (2015) in Norway. First at Grieg’s home, Troldhaugen, and then at the church where the poet Vinje is interred, Nikolaikirken, Granavollen, Hadeland. This region of Norway, Hadeland, happens also to be the area from whence one branch of my family tree hails. It was at the invitation of the Mannskoret K.K. that I performed there and who asked me to learn the song for the occasion. I am deeply grateful to them, both for inviting me to sing with them last summer and for giving me occasion to build that song into my body. Grieg’s body of work is tremendous, indeed. One can spend a lifetime learning the songs. I intend to dedicate a good part of mine to doing so.
I must also mention the Kern. Jerome Kern.. what a composer! His song “All the Things You Are” is one of the many gems of his oeuvre. Written for a show called “Very Warm for May” it certainly WAS very warm for this particular month of May. The cool ocean breeze coming in through the windows was a welcome breath of air and buoyed the music along. I thought of the folks whom I’d met last summer, in Karmøy on the west coast of Norway. It is from that region where the copper that built our Statue of Liberty was dug out of the earth. By the hands of workers there, whose decedents now treasure and maintain that land. And we, all we have to do here is to look out the window, across the harbor, from the ferry, in our picture books and postcards, at the beauty that was wrought by those hands. Find out more about that here.