Search - Lena Willemark :: Nordan

Lena Willemark
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Lena Willemark
Title: Nordan
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: ECM Records
Release Date: 10/11/1994
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Europe, Scandinavia
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 781182153622

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CD Reviews

Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 11/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lena Willemark and Ale Moller are incredibly talented musicians, filled with the soul and spirit of their native Sweden. They have dedicated themselves to preserving their country's traditional music -- not by presenting straightjacketed recitals of textbook pieces, but by using these traditions as a foundation for new compositions and interpretations. This technique, in their hands, shows incredible reverence and respect for what is old, but at the same time allows it to live and breathe -- their love of this music, combined with their raging talent, enables this to happen.Other contemporary bands have taken a similar approach, but with considerably more electrification and modern instruments -- bands such as Hedningarns, Garmarna, and Vasen have done some exciting things based on tradtional songs, tunes and forms. Willemark and Moller take a strictly acoustic approach -- and it allows the soul and spirit of this music to shine through so very brightly.Lena Willemark's voice is one of the most beautiful instruments you will ever hear -- and she's an exceptional fiddler as well. Ale Moller is a multi-instrumentalist of admirable scope -- he plays mandola, natural flutes, folk-harp, shawm, cow's horn, hammered dulcimer and assorted percussives. The great Palle Danielson, veteran of so many fine ECM sessions, is here on double-bass -- and other fine musicians add drone-fiddle, kantele, fiddle, Swedish bagpipes, saxophone and percussion to great effect. The arrangements are sparse -- only 5 of the disc's 16 tracks feature the entire ensemble, with most pieces being played by 2-4 people. The recording is exactly what the listener has come to expect from ECM -- crystal-clear, with no unnecessary (or distracting) hype or studio trickery. The music is allowed to shimmer in its own beautiful light -- and it is incredibly evocative of its place of origin. You can almost feel the cold wind blowing off the grey sea. Even the cover photograph (again, perfectly up to ECM's standards) adds to the spirit of the recording.There are both vocal and instrumental selections here, a very effective mix. The notes in the booklet are brief but informative, giving the listener the sources of the tunes, and, in the case of the songs, a glimpse at their meaning.This is not just a recording for afficianados of Swedish or Scandinavian music -- although those listeners will undoubtedly appreciate it from that point of view as well -- its beauty and appeal are of such a level as to be universal. It can touch the spirit of anyone who is fortunate enough to hear it.This talented duo have several recordings available -- this is one of their finest efforts."
Utterly unparalled music!
Larry L. Looney | 08/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've few words to describe either the depth, intensity, and virtuosity of this recording, or the quality of its production. Even those who are unfamiliar with Swedish folk music will enjoy this multi-faceted jewel, which seamlessly melds atmospheric tapestries of instrumentation and rich vocal harmonies. I feel lucky to have heard it on public radio in Los Angeles, though it deserves non-stop radio play around the world. Bravo, Lena Willemark and Ale Moller! Please give us all the gift of a new cd as soon as possible!"
"Simply Great!!"
Larry L. Looney | 04/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've just bought the Nordan CD, and I must say it's one of the best records I've ever listened to. It's a perfect blend between modern and traditional music, and there's a lot of feeking in it. My favourites are "Sven i Rosengard" because Lena Willemark's singing really conveys the pain and anguish the song's main character experiences, and "Gullharpan". This CD really is extraordinary because it it no everyday record; really something special. The only thing which I rather disliked was that they didn't print the lyrics. My Swedish is not too good, and I had trouble understanding the contents of the songs. Can anybody help me?"