Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling|
Genres: Folk, Jazz, Pop
These gentle, atmospheric sounds summon forth images of 20th century tonalities, forgotten folk music, the spiritual essence of Scandinavia and a touch of jazz. Pianist Ketil Bjørnstad's three ruminative variations on his ... more »
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These gentle, atmospheric sounds summon forth images of 20th century tonalities, forgotten folk music, the spiritual essence of Scandinavia and a touch of jazz. Pianist Ketil Bjørnstad's three ruminative variations on his initial "Epigraph No. 1" form the conceptual backbone of this recital, with David Darling's arco bow work on (what sounds like a his bass-extended five-string) cello adding a contrapuntal touch to "Variation 1." "Variation 2" finds the pianist crystallizing this slow, spare theme to sub-atomic levels of frosty, midnight sun stillness, while on "Variation 3" his chords open up and bloom in the manner of Bill Evans. Bjørnstad and Darling also interpret a mélange of pre-Baroque and Renaissance music and mix it into a suite of sorts with a select assortment of original compositions. Their contemporary and spontaneous feel is at least in part aided by the expansive, reverberant production of Manfred Eicher and long-time collaborator engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug in the acoustic depths of Rainbor Studio, in Oslo, Norway. Thus, the "Pavane" of William Byrd (1543-1623) comes across as a serene Nordic meditation (with some curious minor-key ornaments redolent of the Near East), while the "Fantasia" of Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) evokes the courtly dance in surreal slow motion. Often, the very sound of what they do is commensurate with the note values, as on the impressionistic, slightly hazy recollections of "Song for TKJD," where Darling's multitrack cellos beckon as if from a dream, or "The Lake," where Bjørnstad's bell-like upper-register notes glisten like moonlight against the stately pools of chanted cadences and bowed tones. --Chip Stern
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Brian Ziegler | Elgin, IL USA | 06/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is the second duo collaboration on the ECM label for pianist Ketil Bjornstad and cellist David Darling. The music is achingly beautiful, carrying one along as if it is a dance in slow motion, with each note just perfect at just the right time. Even though it invokes an almost meditative calm, it is quite different from other acoustic new age efforts. Rather than simply being background or sonic wallpaper, there is real depth to the compositions. Or are they improvisations, because one senses that this music flows directly from the hearts of the artists rather than their heads. Their previous effort, The River (ECM 1593), is equally entrancing. As in all ECM recordings, the superb sound quality just adds to the magic."
A sublime album beyond New Age
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Darling's cello work typically gets labeled as new age. However, in a number of his works (this one included) released under ECM Records, he's also bordered straight up classical music. In this recording he is joined by pianist Ketil Bjornstad in a sublime production that blends the classical and the contemporary, effortlessly transporting the listener to Scandinavian fjords and open landscapes under overcast skies. Sounds like a score to a movie? If it were, I wouldn't miss it. Ever since I first borrowed it from the library, a couple of years ago, I had been determined to buy my own copy."
Nuno Guerra | Lisboa, Portugal, Europe | 10/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has one of the most beutiful musics I've ever heard (and I'm really into music) - it's the second one, named "upland". I strongly advise you to get this CD if you like to be challenged to accept your solitude. Simply perfect music!"