Swedish Troubadors

Posted On January 8, 2010

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I was somewhat familiar with the Swedish troubador tradition, of setting poems to music, through the works of Bellman and Taube.  What I didn’t know is that the tradition continues.  Two current artists I listen to are Dan Viktor and Stephen Sundström.  In fact, Sundström is a friend on MySpace.  One of the most interesting artists is Cornelis Vreeswijk.  He passed away in 1987 at the age of 50.  Even though I am not fluent in Nordic languages, the biting satire of his songs comes through.  He felt much of the tradition was insipid, and he proceeded to change that.  He is quite famous as a composer of Swedish folk music.  And continues to gain new fans even though he passed away quite a few years ago.  What is interesting is that he grew up speaking Dutch.  His parents moved to Sweden when he was about 12.

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