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Reviews: Sturla Eide, Slatter Vol 1-fra Meldal og Orkdal; and Mats Eden, Daniel Sanden-Warg, Leif Stinnerbom, Magnus Stinnerbom, Anno 2010

Sturla Eide
Slatter Vol 1-fra Meldal og Orkdal
[Stnisk Musikklubb EM56 (2010)]

Mats Eden, Daniel Sanden-Warg, Leif Stinnerbom, Magnus Stinnerbom
Anno 2010
[Giga GCD-73 (2010]

The first of these two collections of Swedish and Norwegian fiddle music is by Sturla Eide, a noted fiddler and member of the Norwegian folk band Flukt. On this first of three volumes of Norwegian fiddle tunes, Eide performs music from the Meldal and Orkdal regions on both violin and Hardanger fiddle. This is a scholarly project with a lavish booklet with color photos and extensive notes (in English, French & Norwegian) about the men who collected the music. Eide also adds his own notes about how he approached playing the tunes. His performance is clean and precise, but with a warmth that shows this isn’t some dry historical recital.

The second recording tells the story of two generations of Swedish fiddlers sharing their love of the old tunes, and the thrill of the hunt to uncover the music. Mats Eden (of Groupa) and Leif Stinnerbom have a partnership that dates back to the early 70’s, and detail in the liner notes the story of their hunts in the Swedish and Norwegian countryside for the old musicians and the tunes they played. Daniel Sanden-Warg and Magnus Stinnerbom first played together as Harv in 1997, playing much of the same repertory that Eden and Leif Stinnerbom had. It’s that common love of the old music and dance that unites these two sets of musicians on this recording. The play in varying configurations on the 21 tracks, with all four on viola d’amore/violins, solo pieces, accordion pieces, and in duo settings, with everything recorded live without any overdubs. It’s another labor of love and the pleasure the musicians have in performing together comes shining through. Of the two recordings, this one is the more accessible because of the variety of the arrangement, but both are wonderful examples of the beauty and depth of Nordic traditional music. [www.emcd.no http://www.fiddleplayer.no]

—Jim Lee (Simi Valley, CA)

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