“Draumkvedet” (“The Dream Poem”) is a Norwegian visionary poem, probably dated from the late medieval age. It is one of the best known medieval ballads in Norway. The first written versions are from Lårdal and Kviteseid in Telemark in the 1840s.
The protagonist, Olav Åsteson, falls asleep on Christmas Eve and sleeps until the thirteenth day of Christmas. Then he wakes, and rides to church to recount his dreams to the congregation, about his journey through the afterlife. The events are in part similar to other medieval ballads like the Lyke Wake Dirge: a moor of thorns, a tall bridge, and a black fire. After these, the protagonist is also allowed to see Hell and some of Heaven. The poem concludes with specific advice of charity and compassion, to avoid the various trials of the afterlife.
Thirteenth day of Christmas was a great feast day in the medieval church: Epiphania Domini, the revelation of the Lord, was celebrated in memory of Christ coming to the world as king. Church music was common to all of Catholic Europe. This is what we call Gregorian song, and it also sounded in Norway. On that very day, the holy three kings came to worship the child of Jesus with gifts, and the priest read the same story from the gospel.
Consortium Vocale participated with former singers from Oslo Domkor
Terje Kvam turned 75 on December 10, 2019. In this connection, he invited to a concert in Oslo Cathedral.
Terje Kvam, conductor
Kåre Nordstoga, organ