Trygve Bolstad - Jan Beitohaugen Granli
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Trygve Bolstad
Jan Beitohaugen Granli
Lite Nemmar
Both titles Ta:lik (

Ta:lik is a young record company from Norway with a catalogue full of interesting recordings, with contemporary musicians as well as older treasures from the vast archive of Norwegian folk music. Their releases include informative booklets in both Norwegian and English. These recent releases feature two hardanger fiddlers from the district of Valdres.

cd cover Jan Beitohaugen Granli is a young, acclaimed hardanger fiddler who already has won the prestigious Landskappleik twice. His playing is highly appreciated all over Norway and he is always in demand as fiddler for dances.
He combines beautiful, crystal clear playing with raw energy and intensity, which is just what the dancers need. "If I play a springar, I play a dance, not a springar as a listening tune," Jan says. The springar is a Norwegian dance in 3/4. In the Valdres district, these beats are asymmetric. The first beat is much shorter than the two following ones. This gives the tunes a distinctive punch in the beginning of each measure. In the hands of Jan Beitohaugen Granli, this rhythm pattern feels natural and steady.

The springar is the dominating tune-type on Lite Nemmar. There are also two halling-tunes in 4/4. Although most of the hardanger fiddle music is dance music, there are also listening tunes called lyarlåttar. These are often non-metric, slow and meditative. Jan plays two listening tunes and they contrast nicely to the fast, energetic dance tunes.

cd cover Trygve Bolstad, born in 1943, was Jan's teacher for 12 years and Aleis is his first album. Compared to the sparkling virilily of Beitohaugen Granli's playing, Bolstad's style is a little more calm and laid back. Initially it appears a bit colorless, but after repeated listenings you hear subtle, beautiful nuances. His playing is warm, sensitive and personal. It feels like we are listening to him tell stories while playing. The listening tunes are exciting: you can hear how Trygve really takes care of all the notes. The tune "Hengslelåtten" is a prime example of that.

Aleis contains more lyarlåttar than Lite Nemmar, and the pace is slower. The springar tunes are more playful and smoother than Beitohaugen Granli's powerful, overwhelming style. The tune "Bustebakkin" appears on both albums, and it is fascinating to study the differences in style between the two.

The CD's both contain music videos that are well-worth watching. The video on Lite Nemmar shows a couple dancing to Jan's playing. Lite Nemmar as well as Aleis are albums that give us hardanger fiddle music at its best. Brilliant tone and mind-blowing intensity distinguishes Jan's playing. Trygve's tone is sincere and beautiful. I can't pick my favorite! - Staffan Jonsson

CDs available from cdRoots

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