KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA &
Sexton Favoriter Ur Kristina
"Beyond a wide ocean"
Original Cast Album for Andersson-Ulvaeus' KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA October 1996 Available
on Swedish 3cd set
This is the original cast recording to the Malmo production of the musical "KRISTINA från
Duvemåla ". Benny and Björn wrote the music and lyrics for this musical version of Vilhem's Moberg's classic UTVANDRARPOS.
The books are known in English as THE EMIGRANTS saga.
KRISTINA is the apex of Björn and Benny's songwriting careers. KRISTINA
is their most ambitious work,a very brave effort to adapt a classic Swedish book into a musical .The whole process- writing,staging,
and then making the record took over five years. (the idea began germinating in Benny's mind in the Spring of 1989).
On this record ,the lengthly EMIGRANTS saga is distilled into 39 songs covering three CD's. The stage
musical itself was almost four hours..It premiered on 7 October 1995 in Malmo. The cast album was released nearly a year after
the first staging. The stage production moved to Stockholm in 1998, and closed in Stockholm in June 1999.
This run was
shorter than a Broadway run because of the much smaller size of the Swedish
markert and because B&B wanted to keep
the musical fresh. A million ticketbuyers have seen KRISTINA.
Unlike B& B's 1984 rock musical CHESS ,KRISTINA is somewhat removed from
ABBA and rock n roll. Most of the songs feature a full orchestra acompianment .KRISTINA does not generally
attempt to meld rock with musical forms. Still, many of the songs have rock instrumentation. Nor does, KRISTINA
exactly sound like a Broadway musical. It's more like opera. Perhaps, it could best described as Swedish folk opera.
For the first time, officially, Benny and Björn's
roles have been spilt into distinct parts. On KRISTINA,
Benny wrote all the music and Björn all the lyrics. Also, Benny was the sole producer of the recording. But, both Benny and
Björn were involved in the production of the play itself.
This split in their roles had been evolving over time. When B&B began writing together in the 1960's
both had a hand in the writing the lyrics & the music. Benny, stopped writing lyrics in the mid -seventies, leaving all
the lyrics to Björn (or Stig) Benny had always given more of the music in their songwriting partnership, but Björn's musical
role seem to begin to diminish significantly with ABBA's 8o's synthesizer dominated music.
In addition, by the late
1980's, Björn was no longer involved with producing the songs that he wrote with Benny.
The ABBA band and Björn do not play much of a role here musically since the music primarily is
scored for an Orchestra ,not a rock band. Björn, Rutger Gunnarson, and Lasse Wallander do put in a minor appearence on the
album, somewhat obscurely as The Three Boys.
Interestingly, Björn and Benny chose to write KRISTINA largely in Swedish, their first album
length work together since LYCKA to be recorded in Swedish. This has meant that the musical has had a special resonance in
Sweden, but this also meant that the musical is not widely known outside Sweden. Eventually, Björn is supposed to finish writing
a English version of the musical so that it can be performed in America and elsewhere. But Björn has shown more interest in
puttering around with Mamma Mia. Writing English lyrics to KRISTINA that are as good as the Swedish
lyrics apparently is quite a daunting task.
The EMIGRANTS saga was originally told in four books written in the late 1940's and 1950's. The four parts
are titled in English: THE EMIGRANTS, UNTO A GOOD LAND, THE SETTLERS, and LAST LETTER HOME. A famous film adaption
of the books starring Liv Ullmann was made in the 1970's .
As a whole, the four books tell the story of band of emigrants who leave southern Sweden to move to Minnesota
in about 1850. The town nearest to where the emigrants end up is called Taylor Falls. Taylor Falls ,Minnesota is an actual
town on the Wisconsin Border near Minneapolis. The books spent a lot of time explaining why the Emigrants leave, a lot of
time showing the hardship of the ship journey, and then the remainder of the time showing the fates that befall the former
Swedes when they live in America. The lyrics in this musical version are surprisingly faithful to the original book- this
isn't a " Hollywood" adaption. Only a few of the songs include things that did not occur in the books. The KRISTINA
of the title is KRISTINA Nilson who was born in Duvemala. The role is played on the album by the highly likable
(and previously little known) Helen Sjöholm. It is Helen's comely face that graces the stamp on the album cover.
The book of the play includes lots of dialogue and unlike CHESS ,the dramatic parts of the play
are usually just as interesting as the music. However musically, KRISTINA is not quite as a interesting
a work as
CHESS. KRISTINA is more conventional.and less varied.
came off as a daring and unique score.
It is dissapointing that B&B have only had the opportunity to write two original musicals in the
20 years since Abba.Various side projects,Bjorn's moving to England, Bjorn's decreasing creative energies, delays in the productions
of CHESS & KRISTINA as well as simply the lack of good ideas have all meant that B&B
have not been as prolific as they might have been. So for some reason, B&B have not bothered to followup Kristina with
another original musical. Instead ,Bjorn has focused mainly on Mamma Mia, Bjorn has occasionally devoted time on efforts to
revive CHESS, and translate Kristina to English . Benny , spents a lot of time on his solo work, and on working with acts
on his Mono record label, . It would be very surprising at this point in their lives if B&B
actually were able to write a new musical at all, let alone, a musical of the quality CHESS or
As impressive as KRISTINA is , it is one of Bjorn and Benny's least accessible works (at
least to the non-Swede) -the length and seriousness of the musical, foreign language, and sameness of the orchestration work
against it as possible international stage success.There is just an incredible amount of music involved.
The length of
the musical does make it hard
to appreciate each and every song-there
is just too much music.The 39 songs presented
here make this is one of the longest works ever written by popular songwriters.
Some of KRISTINA's musical numbers stand out more than others. The opening overture and
the first song sung by Kristina show off immediately the influence of Swedish folk music.
On the second CD notice the juxtapostion of the Americans with emigrant Swedes in "A Sunday in Battery
Park" . You actually get to hear the chorus singing in English and Swedish in counterpoint. (Three or four songs of the 39
have a smattering of English in them).
CD two closes with Helen Sjöholm singing "Min Astrakan" an incredibly powerful lament
for a apple tree that closes the first act.
CD#3 has the two second act showstoppers; "Du Maste Finnas" (You must Exist"). "Du Maste..." is a song
in which Kristina questions GOD's existence (try to imagine ABBA doing a song like that) .
Helen Sjöholm wrenches
incredible emotion out of this song . "Du Maste Finnas" was the last song written for the musical. It is probably the best
B&B song of the past fifteen years.
The other great song in the second act is
"Guldet Blev till Sand" ( Gold Turns To Sand) sung by young
Jöback. Joback plays Kristina's head-strong/dreamer brother-in-law Robert. The song would proved to be a monster hit in Sweden
where it set the record for the longest time on the Swedish singles chart-(nearly two years).
Anders Eljas conducted the orchestra as he
had on CHESS. Benny and Anders Eljas were
the main arrangers on this album. Lars Rudolfson directed the play and cowrote the play's book with Jan Mark. The album was
recorded in Malmo and in Stockholm by Bernard Lohr. Polar and Mono Studios were the primary recording studios used to record
This is a challenging album to listen to and an expensive one to buy. KRISTINA is perhaps
the most important of the ABBA solo records.
| Details for KRISTINA FRAN DUVEMALA|
Album Produced by Benny Andersson, All Songs written by Andersson-Ulvaeus during 1989-1985
Engineered by Bernard Lohr
Recorded in Malmo & Stockholm Sweden, 1995 /1996
Released only in Scandinavia October 1996
| Track listing for Kristina från duvemåla with English translated title and Lead Singers |
Prolog -Prologue Overture
Duvemåla Hage -The Duvemala Meadow
Min Lust Till Dej -My Lust For
Ut Mot Ett Hav -Towards the Sea
-A Bad Harvest
Lilla Skara Little Group
Kom Till Mig Alla -Come To Me all
Õppnar Alla Grindar- WE open the Gates
Bönder På Havet -Farmers At Sea
Sjöss -Burial At Sea
A Sunday In Battery Park
Från New York Till Stillwater-From New York
Tänk Att Män Som Han Kan Finnas-To Think That Men Like
Him Can Exist
Kamfer Och Lavendel Camphor and Lavender
Drömmen Om Guld The Dream of Gold
Min Astrakan-My Apple Tree
Om Våren-Bright Evenings in The Springtime
Präriens Drottning Prarie Queen
Har Förlikat Mej Till Slut I am Reconciled to My Fate
Till Sand Gold Can Turn to Sand
Wild Cat Money
Ut Mot Ett Hav
Out Towards the Sea
Vill Du Inte Gifta Dej Med Mej Do
you not want to be Married to Me
Ett Herrans Underverk The Good Lords
Down To The Sacred Wave
Du Måste Finnas -You Must Exist
Skördefest -The Harvest Festival
Här Har Du Mej Igen-You Have Me
Red Iron/Hjälp Mej Trösta-Red Iron/Help Me to Calm Him
Var Hör Vi Hemma Where Do We Call Home
I Gott Bevar In Good Keeping
Original Malmo Cast-Sexton Favoriter Ur Kristina 1999 Swedish CD
16 Favoriter Ur Kristina is a one disc abridgment
collection of some of the best songs from the
3-cd KRISTINA cast album. Ten songs were chosen from the first act and six songs were chosen from
This was released in November 1999, about
three full years after the original three disc
cover on the CD is black with 16 small stamps .
This collection is worth getting if you just want a taste of Kristina.
| Track listing:|
Ut Mot Ett Hav
Vi Öppnar Alla Grindar
Tänk Att Män Som Han Kan Finnas
Guldet Blev Till Sand
Du Måste Finnas
Här Har Du Mej Igen
Var Hör Vi
I Gott Bevar