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Swedish Rhapsody No. 3 (Dalarapsodi/Dalecarlian Rhapsody), Op. 47 (Alfven)

(Hugo Emil Alfven)

This piece was composed by Hugo Alfven in 1931 and has been likened to the tone poems of Dvorak.  He tells the story of a shepherd girl who vividly remembers the happy days in her village while playing her horn in an isolated farm.  She is sad and lonely after the Devil comes into the village one night and wreaks destruction by fiddling so insanely that he drives the villagers mad.  She suddenly wakes up frightened, confused and weeping, and after realising it was all a terrible nightmare, begins to play her horn again.

Dalecarlian refers to a region in Sweden and Alfven specifically picked out the mountains and woods from there for the setting of the piece as well as using its folk music melodies in the composition.

Royal Scottish National Orchestra recordings
NAX 8.553729 (CD: Alfven: Symphony No. 3/Legend of the Skerries)
Conductor – Niklas Willen