Egil’s Saga in Reykjavik
January 29, 2020

At the end of January as part of the Dark Music Days Festival in Iceland, Rúni Brattaberg sang From Egil’s Saga, a setting in 12th century Icelandic of poetry by the Viking warrior-hero Egil Skallagrimsson from one of the greatest Saga stories Egil’s Saga. It was originally performed in 2004 with the London Sinfonietta and later recorded in the Faroe Islands for GB Records (BCGBCD20).

Here the ensemble Caput were direct by Gudni Franzson and gave what was probably one of the work’s best performances. The playing was elegant, the small choir sang beautifully, Rúni’s voice has developed and he is now at his best, and Gudni’s direction, choice of tempi, shaping the emotional landscape, was tremendous.

A couple of days later I gave a lecture at the Academy, and for four hours beforehand, Gundi drove me into the cold interior, around a volcano that was on the verge of eruption…

Gavin Bryars