Polska efter Vilhelm Gelotte

  Vilhelm Gelotte, with his French-sounding last name, was descended from a Walloon family that immigrated in the 1700’s to Sweden from Belgium.  Walloons were brought into Uppland to work the iron foundries beginning in the 1600’s, and part of their cultural tradition was playing the nyckelharpa.

Wilhelm himself was born in 1859 in Älvkarleö in Uppland.  He grew up in a musical environment, and was already playing at weddings at age 10.  In 1934 the Uppland volume of Svenska Låtar was published, with 21 of his tunes presented.

This polska is one that he composed himself, often called “Gelotte’s G-minor Polska”.   It is considered one of the finest pieces he played, and is often performed by individuals and groups wanting to demonstrate a stately and beautiful tune.

Here is a YouTube video of a Danish trio playing Gelotte’s polska for dancing.

To the left is a photo of the old bridge across the river Dalälven in the area where Vilhelm Gelotte lived.




To the left is a YouTube video of me playing the tune.