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With Fryd [Eng. ‘joy’], Cantus invites you on a musical journey that starts in the meeting of two significant female figures: Mother and Mary. We wish to make a tribute to the Norwegian mothers who each year conjures up Christmas for the children through all kinds of Christmas preparations. At the same time it is a celebration of the Christian maternal figure, Mary, who gave God’s son to humanity. It is a meeting between the child in the manger, the new king, and the excited children longing for a Christmas filled with experiences and joy. In this way, these simple names – mother and Mary – embrace the message of Christmas and the exquisite joy we all know so well.
Musically the Christmas traditions are rich both in and outside the church. Several of our most beloved Christmas carols, such as Glade jul, are based on folk music. But there are also hidden treasures in folk music that we wish to bring into the light, and this made Unni Boksasp and Trygve Brøske obvious choices for collaboration.
Soloist and folk singer Unni Boksasp has established herself as a central practitioner within Nordic folk music.To Fryd she has brought forth lesser known Christmas songs from the mid-Norwegian folk music tradition. Unni Boksasp represents an exciting musical landscape with the use of quarter tones and curls. Pianist, composer and arranger Trygve Brøske has created the melody of Julekveld and arrangements for several new musical works written specifically for Fryd. With a broad background from contemporary, classical and traditional folk music, Brøske uses his versatile musicality to enrich old tones with new colours.
Female choir Cantus, conducted by Tove Ramlo-Ystad, is known for its distinctive sound, that has the character of simple, natural voices which are allowed to sound freely, but at the same time maintains homogeneity and personality. Cantus always strives to be innovative, and often combines different music traditions in search of new and exciting expressions.
With Fryd Cantus explores the musical traditions of Christmas; from the older, little-known folk music related to the holidays, via some of our great Norwegian Christmas favorites in arrangements written specifically for Cantus, to brand new contemporary music. The music is presented both a cappella and in collaboration with, among other things, instruments like organ and the traditional instrument zither in Trygve Brøske’s innovative arrangements.
New choral works with lyrics from the Mass bring to mind Mary’s journey towards Bethlehem, while Unni Boksasp’s soft tones and Trygve Brøske’s distinct folk music expression reminds us of our own heritage and traditions in Norwegian Christmas celebrations.
In 2013 Cantus contributed in Disney’s movie Frozen, and again in the sequel Frozen 2 in 2019. With Spes released in 2015 (Best Surround Sound Album 58th GRAMMY Nominee), Fryd is the choir’s second album released in collaboration with 2L.