All across Scandinavia there's a lovely crossover between the upright Lutheran hymns and folk music; in fact, they form an important strand of the folk tradition, and Norwegian Arve Moen Bergset, a remarkable singer and violinist who straddles the boundary between classical and folk, illustrates that perfectly with this set. The opener, "Store, Store Gud!" is an unaccompanied showcase for his arresting voice. It builds from there, introducing organ on the next cut, then adding fiddle. With slightly different settings these tunes, both stirring and wistful, would be completely at home on a folk CD. Bergset's singing has the informality of a country Sunday service, giving real impact to the music and allowing it to come alive. There's passion and belief here but, just as importantly, it's a reminder that even in European religions — which aren't exactly noted for their passion — the spirit can move inside the people.
By Chris Nickson on 04.22.11 in Reviews
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