Sunday, December 7, 2008

In review---Norwegian Chillout

Aage Kvalbein & Iver Kleive
Comfort Me
Meditation for Cello and Piano
Kirkelig Kulturverksted

I don't know about you, but this time of year, when darkness falls on the northern hemisphere of the earth, I need more time to relax. While the heat of the summer sun lends itself to spicy Latin and African music, the winter cold, sends me seeking a warm comfortable place to rest my feet and indulge in a good novel. And also the idea of "comfort music" (similar to comfort food), appeals to me as I hunker down and wait for the first signs of spring to emerge.

Norwegian cellist Aage Kvalbein and Norwegian pianist/organist Iver Kleive were thinking along those same lines. Certainly living so close to the Arctic would send anyone seeking a good fire to toast one's feet and music to warm one's thoughts. This duo takes the chill out of winter on their second recording together with KKV,
Comfort Me (Meditation for Cello and Piano).

This chamber music album features Johann Sebastian Bach, Gounod, Albinoni, Gabriel Faure, Ennio Morricone and Edvard Grieg, as well as, traditional folk songs and ballads. The music was recorded at the church, Kulturkirken Jakob (which the label Kirkelig Kulturverksted forged a partnership), and Kleive played the church's Steinway grand piano. Its notes reverberated throughout an acoustically-perfect church and the cello contributed to the melancholic wintry mood. And yet, this wintry mood in the right setting, offers comfort in the same way that favorite food might. Music is after all, food for the soul.

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