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Gunhild Tømmerås
Nu vil blott fortelle
Etnisk Musikklubb (

cd cover This austere, beautiful recording could serve as a primer in Norwegian folk song. Tømmerås has a pure, unaffected voice and it is the riveting focal point of this collection of ballads, psalms, lullabies, and village songs. She sings a cappella almost exclusively and she handles the haunting old melodies with an open confidence, creating a stark Nordic landscape. So entrancing is her voice that when the instruments do enter, it's almost startling. Greger Brändström, Tømmerås' husband, plays Hardanger and violin on a few tracks and Lasse Sörlin plays viola, bouzouki, 12-string guitar, and double bass. Their contributions are restrained and subtle, as befits the material here.

Sörlin's bouzouki work is particularly effective on "Horpa," a lengthy (over nine minutes) ballad. He punctuates several of the stanzas with well-phrased arpeggios, allowing Tømmerås to spin out the tale at a dramatic, unhurried pace. Tømmerås herself plays Hardanger on the only instrumental on the CD, the sweet, rustic waltz "Vals frå Herefoss." Nu vil blott fortelle is simple and utterly pretense-free, yet deeply evocative. Tømmerås has written the book on how Norwegian traditional music should be sung. - Peggy Latkovich

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Audio © 2001 Etnisk Musikklubb, used by permission

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