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Orphei Drängar (OD)
Orphei Drängar (OD)
It is often said that Orphei Drängar’s most important tradition is renewal. Since the choir was founded in 1853, OD has striven to develop and find new outlets for the male-voice choir as an instrument of musical expression. In 1910 Hugo Alfvén was appointed as the choir’s conductor, and during his 37 years in this position the choir developed towards becoming a ‘vocal orchestra’ – a large, powerful body of sound with the potential to hold its own in competition with the expressive range of a symphony orchestra. During his years as conductor of OD (1951-1991), Eric Ericson worked purposefully to create a flexible, muscular choral sound. A conscious effort was also made to extend and renew the male choir repertoire, and this process has continued under Ericson’s successor, Robert Sund, with music from Europe and beyond. OD has actively encouraged the composition of new male choir music by means of regular commissions from contemporary composers both in Sweden and abroad. The choir has also tried to broaden the scope of new concert forms with annual ‘Caprices’, a witty mixture of light and serious music in which solo, ensemble and choral singing is combined with narration, dance and instrumental music. Under Robert Sund’s direction the choir has collaborated with symphony orchestras, jazz musicians, folk musicians and popular singers. The music video of The Singing Apes of Khao Yai by Jan Sandström, which was broadcast by MTV, is a good example of the choir’s work in experimenting with new genres of performance. Since the late nineteenth century OD has toured internationally, and in recent years has visited the Far East, the United States, Canada, Mexico, central Europe, France and England. Visit the official website of
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Orphei Drängar (OD)
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Penguin Guide 3 stars.
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American Record Guide: Critic's Choice.
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