Highlight of the month


„Sigling“ (Torna a Surriento).

The recording was released on a 78 rpm record in 1933.

Performed by Erling Ólafsson (1910–1934), a singer who died at the age of 24 of tuberculosis, a year after he recorded this song. His brother, Sigurður Ólafsson, was also a well known singer in Iceland.

Composer: Ernesto De Curtis (1875–1937) was an Italian composer, he was born and lived in Naples, Italy. He studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Maiella in Naples. Ernesto was the brother of poet Giambattista De Curtis who wrote the original lyrics to this song, "Torna a Surriento".

Lyrics: Bjarni M. Gíslason (1908–1980) was born at Stekkjarbakki, Tálknafjörður, Iceland. He was a sailor as a young man and published his first book of poetry at the age of 25, „Jeg ýti úr vör“ (I launch the boat), the same year „Sigling“ was released on a record. Bjarni sailed to Denmark that same year, 1933, and lived  there for the rest of his live. He was a teacher, a scholar and published books of poetry, a novel and treatise on Icelandic manuscripts.

Old recordings are made accessible at the library´s audiovisual department in collaboration with the Music Museum of Iceland.

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