Icelandic Dances

ENS.Version 4 | 6.28.13 | 11’
Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet in Bb, Clarinet in A, 2 Bassoons, 2 Violins, 2 Basses

Midi Rendition of Icelandic Dances – I. Allegretto
Midi Rendition of Icelandic Dances – II. Tempo giusto
Midi Rendition of Icelandic Dances – III. Allegro moderato ed energico
Midi Rendition of Icelandic Dances – IV. Allegro vivace

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Icelandic Dances

  1. Allegretto
  2. Tempo giusto
  3. Allegro moderato ed energico
  4. Allegro vivace

The legendary Icelandic composer Jón Leifs composed this set of Icelandic Dances in 1929-1930 while living in Germany. There are four movements, each featuring three melodies based on a type of Icelandic folk song called Rimur, which stresses raw, open harmonies based on fifths. Each movement follows the same schematic form: AA BB A CC B AA. Originally for piano, he also made a version for orchestra. For no particular reason besides fun I made this entirely unnecessary version for a slightly unusual ensemble foregrounding the folksy, raw sounds of low woodwinds, violins, and basses. I guess I have a weird idea of fun.