Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871 – 1927): I Seraillets Have

stenhammar caption 180x205Stenhammar was a major figure in Scandinavian (especially Swedish) musical life at the turn of century. I Seraillets Have (In the Seraglio’s Garden) is his four-part (SATB) setting of a text1   by the founder of the Danish naturalist movement the novelist, poet, and scientist, Jens Peter Jacobsen (1847 – 1885). It’s one of three a cappella choral songs 2 that Stenhammar composed early on in his career and with its romantic harmonic language and folk-song inspired melodic lines is immediately recognisable as a Nordic revival piece. Enjoy :-).


Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871 – 1927): I Seraillets Have

Rosen sænker sit Hoved, tungt
Af Dug og Duft,
Og Pinjerne svaje saa tyst og mat
i lumre Luft.
Kilderne vælte det tunge Sølv
I døsig Ro,
Minareterne pege mod Himlen op
I Tyrketro,
Og Halvmaanen driver saa jævnt afsted
Over det jævne Blaa,
Og den kysser Rosers og Liljers Flok,
Alle de Blomster smaa
I Seraillets Have,
I Seraillets Have.

The rose sinks its head, heavy
With dew and fragrance,
And the pines are waving so silent and
Faint in the sultry air.
The brooks roll their heavy iron
In complete tranquility,
Minarets point at Heaven
In the Turkish faith,
And the halfmoon slowly drifts away
Over the evening-blue,
And kisses the herds of roses and lilies,
All those little flowers
In the Seraglio’s Garden,
In the Seraglio’s Garden


The Ionian Singers conducted by Timothy Salter.


  1. Jacobsen’s poem was popular with composers of the era, it was set by Delius, Nielsen, and Sinding as well as Stenhammar – mfi.
  2. I wrote about his song September (Alle de voksende skygger) on October 27, 2011 – mfi.

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