How composers from Nordic countries portrayed their national character? How do we know from listening to a piece that it was created by the Scandinavian composer?
One of the easiest ways to do that, of course, is to cite some folk or National songs. These melodies usually have culturally distinct rhythms and intervals which in turn create Nordic character.
For example, a common feature for this region are dotted rhythms (dotted eighth notes and sixteenths), syncopations, and leaps by a perfect fourth from the 5th to the 1st scale degree in the melody preceded by the arpeggio dominant chord.
Today's sight-reading piece has all these elements. That's The Herd-girls' Sunday (ca. 1850) which is also known as Solitude on the Mountain by the Norwegian violinist virtuoso and composer, Ole Bull (1810-1880) who was a friend of Liszt, Schumann, and Grieg, a colorful figure who traded ancient violins, founded a colony of his name in the US and was part of the Norwegian national movement at the second half of the 19th century.
The main theme of this work is Norwegian Freedom March which Bull composed in 1850. The feeling of solitude on the mountain is probably created by the solo violin melody (played on the flute stop) placed in a very high range.
I hope you will enjoy sight-reading this beautiful organ arrangement which for you will definitely evoke Nordic landscape with fjords and mountains. Pay attention to the chromatic harmonies in the accompaniment which make this work even more romantic. In order to achieve legato in the left hand part, apply finger substitution and finger glissando technique.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.