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Baletto - airs and dances from the 18th century Denmark - the Ålholm collection

arranged for lever harp by Helen Davies 

The Ålholm Collection

The Ålholm Collection of tunes belonged to Count Otto Ludvig Raben (1730 – 1791) and was unknown until Jens Henrik Koudal discovered the manuscripts in 1991. Ålholm Castle in southern Denmark had been in the Raben family for eight generations, but in 1991 the castle and contents were put up for sale. The music notebook of Count Otto lay hidden amongst papers in one of the smaller rooms of the castle.

Count Otto was a passionate flute player, and, as was typical for his time, received a broad European education before taking over the responsibility of running an estate. He travelled to Paris when he was 21 and lived there for three years. After his marriage to Anne Caterina Henningsen Buchwald from Holsten, they moved to his family estate at Ålholm, Lolland.

Count Otto constantly notated his favourite melodies, especially many of those popularly used for the dances that were in fashion. His collection is a widely varied one, as the Count gathered not only the latest court dances from Copenhagen, but also tunes from abroad and tunes that he would have heard at festivities held for his servants.

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