Commissioned by John Storgårds, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Nordic House in the Faroe Islands.
Dedicated to the composers daughter Malan.
Preface / Programme note:
From the Edda verse 31
Three roots there are that three ways run
Neath the ash-tree Yggdrasil;
Neath the first lives Hel,
neath the second the frost-giants,
Neath the last are the lands of men.
The idea behind the Symphony is the story of Yggdrasil, “The Tree of Life”, from the Old Norse mythology. The
Ash-tree reaches all the way into the sky and has three roots, each growing into three different places. One root
grows into the “Land of Hel” (Hel is the goddess of Hell), called “Helheim”, another into the “Land of Frost-
Giants”, called “Jotunheim”, and one root grows into the “Land of men”, called “Asgard”. And the Ash-tree
reaches into the sky. In the crown of the tree lives a squirrel, which moves fast around the tree and spreads
gossip, both between the three roots and between three roots and the crown of the tree.
The Edda is a large collection of Old Norse poems, collected in the 12th Century by the Icelandic poet and
historian Snorri Sturluson.
Sunleif Rasmussen, March 2015