We can only imagine what the atmosphere was like inside the cold stone church. But we can get a glimpse of it, if we forget about the historical records for a moment and follow a literary path, joining the impoverished boy Adrian POSEPILT such as the author Kristian Kristiansen portrays him in the years around 1700.
The waif Adrian grows up in “Verkshuset” a workhouse for prostitutes and female offenders, before being placed in “Blåskolen” a public orphanage which in 1733 was included in the new foundation Waisenhuset.
It was called “Blåskolen” – The blue shool – because the children wore blue coats with black lapels. They acquired food and other necessities by going around Trondheim singing. What little they recieve off alms, they put down in bags – poser – the boys always carries with them. This is how the name “POSEPILT” was born.
Adrian is particularly gifted, but the “blueboys“ mistress, the strict but good hearted Abelone, seems completely unaware of it. Until one day, she meets the German born Barbara, daughter of old Cuno, the organist at the Cathedral: – “Aber meine gute Abelåne! Does she not know that Adrian has gold in his throat?” Finally Abelone starts listening for Adrians voice when the POSEPILTs sing. His voice has the sound of “a soft organ tone“. Thanks to his amazing singing voice and his intellectual gifts Adrian rose upward on the social ladder. This would otherwise be unthinkable for an orphan in the 16 century. On one occasion he is even invited to a party with “the great ones”, the nickname for the aritians, the rich men‘s sons in the top class at Latin school. Most of the David Boys, the boys who sing in the church choir, attend this class. But Adrian is enrolled up in the choir – “one bluecoat between all the black velvet cloaks,” as it is described in the novel “Adrian POSEPILT“.
So what was it like inside the church when it was time prayer and the choir song corrugated? We follow Abelone in. She is looking for Adrian who has had a sleeve torn off in a fight. Now she is on her way with a new one, but first she must visit the school to look for him there:
“The Latin school was as empty as a barn with the doors wide open. She went from room to room, without seeing a sole and hearing nothing but the sound of her own footsteps. They were well over at the church. She went out and followed the footprints over to the church door. Yes, she was giving him that sleeve even if she had to fetch him in front of the altar. “
In all the years Abelone has lived in Trondheim, she has never been to church on a weekday. She has been too busy. No wonder she makes big eyes, for the benches are all empty and lifeless until the chairs of the house of St. George where six or seven old people are seated as closely as possible to keep warm.
On the front bench her POSEPILTs and the pupils from the lowest classes in the Latin School are seated. The Davids Boys – among them Adrian – are sitting all the way up in the choir, singing what Abelone perceive as Latin.
“The choir song rose and fell. Slowly, almost monotonous. The alter lights were still like stars. The curate yawned. She watched him until she had to yawn her self. She was always tired in church. She was so unaccustomed to sitting idly, many a time it was a torment to sit still with idle hands.“
The vicar Ole Brochmann has a stranger with him in church this day. He points at Adrian when the New Testament is to be read after the choir song. The poor boy from The blue house steps forward blushing with only one jacket sleeve, but he can read – loud and clear. Abelone wails in shame, but none of them realize at the time that Adrian has taken his first step towards becoming employed as the church bell ringer in Melhus – a huge step for a youth with his background.
“They sang an extra hymn that day as far as she could understand. Maybe it was the stranger who suggested that too. Then there was kneeling an Kyrie Eleison before finally ending with pater noster.
Adrian arrives at the choir door again along with three the peers from the Davids Boys. They look uncertainly at each other, unsure of what will happen next.
The parish priest waves the cantor over and says something to him. Before the cantor goes over to the four boys and gives them the tone. And then the boys sing “Te Deum Laudamus “.
Sculpture: Adrian POSEPILT (Astrid DALSVEEN 1997) – by the Adrian Cottage at Ringvebukta