The composer Henrik Dahlgren writes:
”Edgar Allan Poe’s poem appealed to me since it is so versatile. At the same time as it is expressing a hope for a brighter future it has a darkness and seriousness over it.
The text originates from a song that is sung by the character Morella in Poe’s short story with the same name, but it has since then been published as a stand alone poem with the title ’A Catholic Hymn’. In a letter, Poe crosses out the word ’catholic’ and thus leaves us with ’A Hymn’.
The text, which had been in one of my drawers for many years was perfect when my former mentor and now good friend Anita Andersson asked for a piece for one of her youth choirs. Anita and I both new that we wanted a somewhat ’semi-sacred’ text and it was important for us that the piece worked both during sacred occasions and as concert music. Poe’s poem was perfect!For me personally, the text evokes an inner picture. A picture of a dramatic coast line where a storm slowly builds up in the horizon and where a woman sings the hymn to mother Mary. At first very clear but later more clouded by the sound of the storm. At last the storm passes and all that is left is the sound of the waves against the shore.
Poe’s poem is timeless and will unfortunately always be urgent in its hope for a brighter future.” – Henrik Dahlgren
Henrik Dahlgren is a Swedish composer, born 1991. He has been studying at the Academy Of Music in Malmö with Prof. Rolf Martinsson and the Royal College Of Music in London with Dr. Haris Kittos. Henrik started his musical career as a drummer and has ever since worked in a very wide range of different genres and styles, both as a performer and as a composer. – ”To evolve from a hard rock loving drummer to a contemporary composer has not been an easy path to travel but when I first discovered the beauty and pureness of the human voice and the choir, I found MY instrument. That’s where I belong!” – Henrik Dahlgren