Northern Dances: Folk Music from Scandinavia and Estonia | Toccata Next TOCN0004

Northern Dances: Folk Music from Scandinavia and Estonia


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Label: Toccata Next

Cat No: TOCN0004

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 1st March 2019



This sparkling collection of folk dances from Norway and Sweden, offset by two Estonian chorales and three improvisations, comes from two of the finest practitioners of this kind of material: Gunnar Idenstam, playing on the new Klais organ of Kristiansand Cathedral in southern Norway, and Erik Rydvall, on the nyckelharpa, the keyed folk fiddle of Sweden. The combination of rhythmic vigour, the harmonic ambiguity of Scandinavian folk music and the huge range of instrumental colour gives these tunes – all in spontaneous, semi-improvised performances – an irresistible and immediate appeal.

Gunnar Idenstam is a concert organist, composer and folk musician. He comes from a background of classical music, but has always had a ‘distant love relationship’ with the folk and symphonic rock of the 1970s. Today he has brought these influences into the context of organ music when he builds bridges between the French cathedral tradition, symphonic rock and Swedish folk music. In 2012 he was awarded the ‘Interpreter of the Year’ prize by the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, presented to him by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav. In June 2013 he received the Litteris et Artibus – a royal medal for recognition of eminent skills in the arts. Gunnar Idenstam has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since May 2013.

The nyckelharpa player Erik Rydvall has steadily risen to stardom on the Swedish folk-music scene. His personal expression, virtuosity and drive to seek out new challenges has made him a highly sought-after musician, often for cross-genre collaboration. While at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Erik Rydvall was one of the founders of the folk-music trio Nordic, winner of multiple prizes. Later he formed the Rydvall/Mjelva Duo with the Norwegian Hardanger fiddler Olav Luksengård Mjelva. Most recently, Erik Rydvall, Olav L. Mjelva and the British violinist Max Baillie have banded together to forge new ties between Scandinavian folk and Baroque music in the Lodestar Trio.

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