Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Various Artists - Nordisk Sang (Norway 1987) @VBR

With Kirsten Braten Berg

What do you think of when you think of Norway? Fjords? Glaciers? Trolls? After listening to these tracks from the Nordisk Sang compilation, you'll also think, "beautiful, haunting music." Norway's traditional folk music has survived and flourished for hundreds of years. Since a brief scare at the turn of the twentieth century when it seemed the old traditions would be lost, Norwegians have embraced their musical heritage and have worked hard to preserve it.

The pieces on Nordisk Sang reflect the beauty and simplicity of traditional Norwegian music. Most of the songs were recorded between 1977 and 1988; two were recorded in 1957, but the music is timeless and boundless. The instrumentation is simple: voice, flute, and stringed instruments interweave to form delicate and hauntingly beautiful tapestries. Though the lyrics are in Norwegian, no translation is needed to perceive the great emotion in the singers' words. Most of the musical influence for these pieces comes from central and western Norway, with has slightly different musical traditions (single flutes instead of trios or quartets, for example) than the rest of the country.

One main component of Norwegian folk music is the national instrument, the Hardanger fiddle ("Hardingfele" in Norwegian), which dates back to at least 1651. The Hardanger filddle developed out of the standard violin and is only found in Norway. It is easier to play several strings at once on the Hardanger fiddle than on a regular violin, and it can be tuned in one of 29 different tunings. This allows for a larger sound from a single instrument, which can come in handy in a sparsely populated country: only one musician would be needed to play at a wedding or other special occasion. Other instruments in traditional Norwegian folk music include "Langeleik" dulcimer (as heard in Elisabeth Kvœrne's lilting and beautiful "Kjœringkjegla"), willow bark flute, standard fiddle (featured in the haunting "Blå Tonar Fra Lom," performed by Hans Brimi and Pernille Anker), and recorder. Like all music, folk music is constantly growing and changing, incorporating new instruments and influences: in "Heiemo Og Nykkjen," Ale Møller uses a synthesizer to accompany Kristen Bråten Berg's vocals, but the piece retains an air of solemn mystery concurrent with even the most traditional Norwegian folk music.

1. Tveitanvise 0:36
2. Blå Tonar Fra Lom 2:54
3. Svein I Sy' Garde 2:17
4. Jenta I Saueflokken 2:58
5. Helemo Og Nykkjen 4:57
6. Smørligråen 2:00
7. Sylfest Mork 1:34
8. To Bånsullar Etter 1:58
9. Thomaslukkud'n Pa 3:25
10. Trumpen Hass Trond 2:10
11. Kjoeringkjegla 1:00
12. Bånsull 0:53
13. Tirili Tovann 3:27
14. Min Kvedarlund 5:32
15. Kivlemøyane 2:28
16. Våjevise 2:36
17. Nils Og Jens Og Gjeidaug 3:30
18. Budeiesull Frå Brimisætra 3:39
19. Seljefløytetone 0:28

Kirsten Braten BERG: Vocals/voix
Eivind GROVEN: Flute
Pernille ANKER: Vocals/voix
Hans BRIMI: Fiddle
Torleiv BOLSTAD: Fiddle
Gunnar STUBSEID: Fiddle
Ale MØLLER: Synthesizer, Bouzouki
Elisabeth KVAERNE: Dulcimer
Tellef KVIFTE: Saxophone soprano, Flute
Hallvard T. BJØRGUM: Fiddle
Kåre NORDSTOGA: Cornemuse
Steinar OFSDAL: Flute



CrimsonKing said...

Nordisk Sang


Angus said...

This is great stuff!

Anonymous said...

fortunately you didn't fulfill your threat to leave this blog. Thanks for all

ad said...

Thanks for Kirsten - lovely power-voice.

Anonymous said...

Have a DYNAMITE day my friend!

Anonymous said...

Great traditional nordic folk

Anonymous said...

It continues asking for the password

CrimsonKing said...

The password is ok.
I tested it and worked fine.

urijenny said...


Tenía este disco descargado de tu blog desde hace mucho tiempo, pero por algún motivo no lo había escuchado. Ahora lo estoy escuchando y es un album fantástico, copadísimo.

Muchas gracias y cordial saludo.

urijenny said...

Aquí portada y contraportada del disco:


CrimsonKing said...

Thank you urijenny for your covers.
Here you can DL the covers with a little better quality:

CrimsonKing said...


Nordisk Sang


beetor said...

Thank you so much, as always, CK! :)

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