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Symphonic Fairytales

THE GLOBAL PROJECT – FAMILY Concerts

Hans Christen Andersen’s 200th anniverary was celebrated in 2005 and Edition·S initiated a large-scaled, global partnership program called Symphonic Fairytales.

Ten Danish composers created orchestral works for Andersen’s fairytales that were launched on the birthday, April 2nd 2005. The new works were performed worldwide throughout the year by a large number of orchestras – from Hanoi to Santiago de Chile, from Sydney to Reykjavik. More than ten thousand children and their families enjoyed one of the 70+ concerts, and the music was broadcast to approximately 200 million TV viewers and radio listeners.

Since then, the catalogue has developed with more works for different scorings based on new and old tales, all available for curious ears – big or small.

FOUR WAYS OF OF of telling a story

The Symphonic Fairytales catalogue contains four main types of orchestra works – all based on Hans Christian Andersen’s writing.

The integrated work

A large-scale concept that integrates children in the performance (singing or playing percussion) – also with soloists, narrator, SATB choir.

This type of work opens great opportunities for outreach involving local network of music education and community.
See John Frandsen’s The ShadowBent Lorentzen’s The Tinder-Box, Svend Nielsen’s The Swine Heard, and Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen’s Thumbelina.

The read tale 

A bullit-proof format for narration with orchestral accompagniment written in the tradition of – Peter and the Wolf and other much-loved pieces. Symphonic Fairytales includes several works of this kind – Fuzzy’s The Travelling Companion and Morten Olsen’s The little Match-Girl and Other Tales.

We also recommend Fuzzy’s The Woman with the Eggs (1992/97) – a very enjoyable tale of high hopes that all come crashing down! And Sven Erik Werner’s The Most Incredible Thing (1997). 

The Orchestral Lied

The personal side of the writer Andersen. Experienced symphonic composers such as Sven Erik Werner Fabliau (soprano solo and orchestra) and Ib Nørholm Impressions (The Little Mermaid) (version for piano and mixed choir) have contributed to the catalogue with inventive compositions that use both poems, personal letters and travel diaries of Andersen, showing his highly complex and interesting personality. 


A performance of Sven Erik Werner's Fabliau (2005) in Vietnam

Tone Poem

The purely instrumental – perhaps with visuals developed in a local partership? Recommended for both young and more adult audiences. Jesper Koch works out the complicated, dream-like aspects of The Snow Queen in an almost 30 minute long compositions for full orchestra.

A creative event can be orgainzed around a work like Finn Høffding’s It's Quite True! (1943) – the story of how gossip makes a single feather swell till it is as big as five fowls. Or consider Knudåge Riisager’s based on the legendary Jack the Dullard / Klods-Hans (1929). 

OTHER TALES

Bent Lorentzens has worked in the symphonic fairytale formats several times before, writing - for example an ambitious - comic-strip oratorio, Comics (1987). The work has been hugely popular and proven its sustainability with a large number of performances with German orchestras over the years.

The four strips made by Simon Bang for Bent Lorentzen's oratorio Comics (1987)