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Nielsen was requested to compose music for the cantata in July 1908. At first he rejected the commission but later accepted it. After having received parts of the text in November, he had to back out. A number of other composers declined the offer too, and in the end Nielsen and his pupil, Emilius Bangert, shared the work equally between them. Bangert finished the fair-copying of the whole work in February 1909. See more about this work at The Royal Library