Knut Reiersrud & Iver Kleive, Nåde Over Nåde

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
You’ve never heard hymns quite like this.

Religious music has long been a vital part of Nordic folk culture, but you've never heard hymns quite like this. Guitarist Knut Reiersrud and organist Iver Kleive team up for the third time on this disc, and with the power of a full church organ and massive cathedral acoustics behind them they could thunder. Instead, they choose subtle subversion (only on "Sâ Ta Da Mine Hender" do they really let loose and play it somewhere close to straight, unleashing a majestic train of sound). Not all the pieces here have their roots in Norway; the duo tackles the chestnut "What a Wonderful World," making it seem fresh and, quite unbelievably, delicate. For the most part the guitar takes the lead role, but the instruments have a gently symbiotic relationship, complementing each other perfectly, with Klieve's very European style firing off Reiersrud's more blues-inflected lines. Unexpected, lovely and strangely spiritually fulfilling.