Search - Anonymous, August Korling, Swedish Traditional :: Jussi Bjorling, Vol. 1

Jussi Bjorling, Vol. 1
Anonymous, August Korling, Swedish Traditional
Jussi Bjorling, Vol. 1
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1


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Watch Jussi Grow!
Margaret E. Cain | Minneapolis, MN United States | 08/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"To be perfectly honest, it pains me to listen to precocious little children perform, and the first track on this CD is no exception. It is interesting to hear the chirping little thrushes piping out above the schmaltsy music, but if I didn't know one was 9-year Jussi Björling, and if there weren't the promise of hearing little Jussi giggle at the end of the performance, I would never have stayed the course. Others disagree. I let them. However, there is another reason for hearing "Sommarglädge" through to the bitter end - the second track. "Vita Rosor" was recorded just 10 years later, and the contrast is astounding. The maturity of the 19-year old Jussi was nothing short of miraculous. I was going to skip "Ack Värmeland", having a none too pleasant familiarity with it years ago when I lived in a predominantly Swedish community in northern Minnesota. I heard it often at potato sausage and lutefisk suppers sung by Arne Bengtson (with accordian accompaniment supplied by the same Arne Bengtson). He pronounced it "Farmland" and I assume he was singing it to the 80 acres of sand and swamp he owned out east of town. However, as I reached out to press the skip button, Jussi lovingly caressed the notes of "Ack Värmeland, du sköna," and I was transfixed. By the time he got to the 11th track, "Land, du Välsignade", I was ready to convert to Swedish."Adelaïda" is also on this disc, track 17, his 1939 version. By this time he was a ripe old 28-years. I have heard of later versions done with less slavish attention to Beethoven's instructions. Regrettably, I never heard them so I cannot compare, but perhaps it is not a bad thing to follow the instructions of someone like Beethoven. This interpretation is full, passionate, and flawless to my critical ear.As is "Frühlingsglaube", track 19. The trouble with "Frühlingsglaube" is that it is too short. I reach for "repeat" when I hear Harry Ebert strike the first notes. Many of these performances appear on other discs, so you might want to go through the play list to see if this might be repetitious. However, it is a thorough list set in a logical order that makes the entire listening period greatly satisfying. Total playing time is 77.36. I listened to this with a friend shortly after I got it. When it finished playing she looked up and said, "Is that all?""