Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 2


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An exciting piece for concert band that highlights every instrument in the ensemble while engaging in the folk song tradition of wind band repertoire.

Like Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 1 (published by Grand Mesa Music) all of the melodic material in this suite stems from four Icelandic folk songs.

Movement III centers around Krummavísur in the first half, then foreshadows the melody from the following movement.

The original folk song on which Movement III is based, Krummavísur is about a raven who scours the earth for food. Every time he finds a good meal, something always gets in his way and he remains hungry for another day. This work features the double reed section (but is cued for the saxophone section also) in the beginning, but goes on to function as the scherzo-like third movement in the suite. It moves directly into the fast fourth movement, Á Sprengisandi, which details a man riding his horse down the Sprengisandur trail in Iceland. Like the rider of his horse, this movement demands dexterity and agility from the ensemble, with musical material being passed across several instruments in the ensemble throughout the work.

While the fourth movement begins with Á Sprengisandi, it weaves all of the folk material together from Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 1 and No. 2 in a climactic and exciting ending fanfare. While each suite can be played separately, they are optimally designed to be played together, comprising a traditional four-movement structure of Allegro, Largo, Scherzo, then ending with Vivace.

Grade 5

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