Taking popular airs and dance tunes of his day, the great Swedish poet Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795) set them to words of an extreme originality.
In his immortal Fredman’s Epistles (1790) he describes the doings - riotous, bibulous and amorous - of a group of odd characters of the low-life of 18th century Stockholm.
This book contains in all fifty-four Epistles and Songs, enhanced with Roland Bengtsson’s guitar accompaniments and Yngve Berg’s classic vignettes. Furthermore, this volume has been augmented with an introduction about Bellman’s life and the age and surroundings in which the poet lived, wrote and performed his often improvised songs ‘as long as anyone would listen to him’.
The 40-minute audio CD attached to the book assembles samples of Bellman's musical-poetic genius, as presented by various singers in English.
Singers are: Gerald English, tenor, Thomas Wahlström, baritone and Barbro Strid, soprano, Bob Tasman, tenor, Jerker Engblom and Martin Bagge (in Swedish).
Also available in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works