Release Date:

May 12, 2014

Purchase Links:

Hövdingar hittast (“Heroes meet”)

Music from the Faroe Islands



For the last twelve years Gavin Bryars has developed a strong and very special relationship with the Faroe Islands and has undertaken a number of projects there. The first connection came about when he met the operatic bass Rúni Brattaberg, who sang in Bryars’ third opera G in Mainz, and who is the only classical singer to come from the Faroe Islands. This led to a new piece, From Egil’s Saga, for bass voice and chamber orchestra, which sets old Icelandic saga poetry. Included in the piece are fragments of the music that composer and singer recorded in various locations on the Faroes, most notably, at the opening of the piece, in the magnificent cathedral-like sea cave of the island of Hestur. Subsequently Bryars was asked to write another piece with chamber orchestra, this time to celebrate the Faroese hero Tróndur of Gøtu. This is for two solo voices, Rúni Brattaberg and the very beautiful Faroese singer/composer Eivør Pálsdottír, who was later to sing the title role in the premiere of Gavin Bryars fourth opera Marilyn Forever. The music sets some Irish texts from St Brendan as well as texts about Tróndur, in Faroese. It was first performed in the lovely new church in Gøtu, conducted by the composer, and Gavin Bryars got to know many more people – the choir, the members of Alúbaran – and developed a close friendship with Eivør, Sigvør her manager and many other Faroese people. Eventually both pieces – From Egil’s Saga and Tróndur I Gøtu – were performed and recorded in the Nordic House, Tórshavn, for this album and a short choral setting of one of the first modern Faroese poets Christian Matras was subsequently added for the choir,




Gavin’s Notes:


Rúni Brattaberg, bass
Eivør Pálsdóttir, soprano
Eystanljóð (choir)
Aldubáran (chamber orchestra)
Gavin Bryars, conductor
Track 9 Leif Hansen, conductor
Track 9 Ólavur Jakobsen, guitar
Track 9 Agnar Lamhauge, double bass


1-8 From Egil's Saga
9 Hitt blinda liðið (“The Company of the Blind”)
10-18 Tróndur í Gøtu

Gavin Bryars