Melodrama for St. Francis Day: WEISFLOG’S DOG or
"The Bureau for Insulted and Mistreated Animals in Chicago"
Listen to radio version on SoundCloud - Storyteller: RODNEY HIRAM
Short 28-minutes version from 2016 arranged by the composer for organ, female voices (2) and storyteller. Sheet music availble through SVENSK MUSIK or contact the composer.
Storyteller Rodney Hiram and Thomas Åberg. Photo: Nida
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 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!"
The original chamber ensemble version from 2014
Version #1 for narrator, chamber ensemble (string quintet, trumpet, oboe, piano) and female choir.
Version #2 for narrator, church organ and female choir
Duration: 37-40 min
Sheet music available through SVENSK MUSIK or contact the composer.
Also available in a Swedish version.
Thomas Åberg and Johan-Magnus Sjöberg editing the part about the Claustrophobic Cat.
Snapshot by Karin Werger.