Music for St. Francis Day: ”WEISFLOG’S DOG” or ”The Bureau for Insulted and Mistreated Animals in Chicago”
Swedish version: ”WEISFLOGS HUND” eller ”Byrån för Förolämpade och Misskötta Djur i Chicago”
For narrator, chamber ensemble (string quintet, trumpet, oboe, piano) and female choir. Duration 37-40 min. Music and text: Thomas Åberg. Instrumentation from Åberg’s original for organ: Johan-Magnus Sjöberg.
Chamber ensemble can be replaced with organ.
Sheet music available through SVENSK MUSIK or contact the composer.
Listen to Swedish version with English subtitles – OLA CITRON, storyteller
Allhelgona Kammarensemble under Johan-Magnus Sjöberg, voices from Allhelgona Motettkör. Instrumentation: Johan-Magnus Sjöberg. Dramaturgical text editing: Erik Fägerborn.
English version with RODNEY HIRAM
Listen to English version with RODNEY HIRAM, storyteller (Radio version – 28 min)
This 28-minutes radio version is also available in an arrangement for organ, female voices (2) and storyteller. Sheet music available through SVENSK MUSIK or contact the composer.
Thomas Åberg about his work:
”I had the idea to ”Weisflog’s Dog” when I visited my friend, composer and organist Michael Thorn in Chicago some years ago. He introduced me to his friend Thomas Weisflog, organist at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at Chicago University and Mr. Weisflog often brings his dog to the church. Very nice man and a very nice dog.
I also knew that in Anglo-American circles, one celebrates St. Francis Day in October every year, animals are brought to church to be blessed.
Google the phrase “Animal blessing” and “St. John the Divine” for example and you will see pictures from the cathedral of New York City when animals as big as elephants, camels and cows are brought to the cathedral on St. Francis Day.
When I came back home to Sweden from my Chicago-tour there was a news story on national Swedish television about this man who had written in his last will, that when he died he wanted his dog to be present at his funeral.
When the man died, his widow presented her late husband’s will to the vicar of the local church in a little west coast town in Sweden and her husband’s wish was denied by the vicar! This story touched everyone’s heart in Sweden and was national news for a long time. These impressionable ingredients are then the background to my work “Weisflog’s Dog”.
The narrative of this work is the story of Buster, the dog owned by Thomas Weisflog. Buster is the hero of the story working at the Bureau for Insulted and Mistreated Animals in Chicago. He has connections all over the world – with the New Delhi Flying Cow Squad for example. We are also going to meet the lisping bumble bee, the claustrophobic cat and Ms. Metz, the notorious Ms. Metz who hates animals.
But, here too, is actually a celebration and thanksgiving to our Lord on St. Francis Day – a thanksgiving for all the animal kingdom and all the love and care we humans receive from our pets.
Weisflog’s Dog ladies and gentlemen!”