Bellman in English

Carl Michael Bellman 1740 - 1795

Fredman's Epistles is a great poetic cycle about the low life of 18th-century Stockholm written throughout to music. Later generations have come to consider Bellman a poet almost in the same class as Shakespeare.

Fredman's Epistles and Songs
BRCD 9182

CD sold out Nov. 2008

with Helena Ek
, soprano

Maria Bania, flauto traverso
Andreas Edlund, harmonium
Kristina Lindgård, violoncello
Mikael Paulsson, archlute, baroque guitar
string quartet Ensemble Ginestra
/Musik i Halland


1. Come, dearest brothers, (FE No. 9)

2. Haga (FS No. 64)

3. Sisters, hear my music (instr. FE No. 10)

4. Ah, tell me mother (FE No. 80)

5. Drain off thy glass! (instr. FE No. 30)

6. Servant, sir, Mollberg (FE No. 45)

7. Cradle song

8. So screw up the fiddle (FE No. 2)

9. As festive a comely shepherdess (instr. FE No. 80)

10. Old man Noah (FS No. 35)

11. Mark how our shadow (FE No. 81)

12. Glimmering nymph (instr FE No. 72)

13. Still'd is the hasty wave

14. Father Movitz, why (FE No. 67)

15. Play, Father Berg, (instr. FE No. 12)

16. Come now, ourselves reposing (FE No. 82)

17. Away we trot, soon, (FS No. 21)

Martin Bagge, b. 1958, is one of Scandinavia's most prominent Bellman interpreters. With his vivid and dramatic performances of Fredman's Epistles & Songs, the unique masterpiece by Sweden's national poet Carl Michael Bellman (1740-95) Bagge has recently become a great favourite with both press and public.

Using a replica of Bellman's own 'Hamburger Citrenchen', a little instrument with steel strings, he performs as Fredman's One-man Theatre. But also with various ensembles, string quartets and wind quintets, likewise to a baroque ensemble, playing on historical instruments.

Martin Bagge has given many concerts in Scandianavia. In Denmark he has participated in a CD-Anthology, with Danish musicians singing Bellman in Danish. Since 1999 he has several times toured Germany and Switzerland singing Bellman in German. Every concert has been a great success.

In 2002 the turn came to the USA, where he is giving Bellman concerts using Paul Britten Austin's translations ­ in the Proprius book Carl Michael Bellman: Fredman's Epistles & Songs, a selection in English you can find more of these lyrics and a brief biography of Sweden's unique 'musical poet'.

Martin Bagge is also a composer and has made arrangements for choirs and various ensembles. All the arrangements on this CD are his own.