Hugo Alfvén and his a cappella choral music



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Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960), as a composer and conductor, has left an indelible mark on Swedish choral music. While his compositional output includes works in a wide variety of genres, it is his work with choirs and with choral music, and most specifically, his choral arrangements of Swedish folk songs, that are considered his most significant contribution to Swedish music. His legacy lives on in the choirs that he directed and in the music that these choirs sing. Several of his folksong arrangements are still a part of the standard repertoire for Swedish choirs. In order to facilitate an understanding of his impact on Swedish choral music, this document presents a brief biography of his life and work as a composer, discusses his work with the choirs that he directed (most notably the men’s choir Orphei Drängar and the mixed choir Siljankören), and offers a descriptive survey of his a cappella choral music. Also included in this document are appendices containing a complete listing of his a cappella works for choir, English translations of his a cappella works, and a pronunciation guide for the Swedish language.