Boda spelmanslag
Låtar på Bodamål
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Boda Spelmanslag in 2003, Giga is offering a choice delicacy. In 1979 the LP "Låtar på Bodamål" was released. Now this record is being re-released on CD. In addition to the tracks which were on the first edition there are another ten fantastic Boda tunes which were recorded at the time, but for which there was room on the LP.

Nils Agenmark
Music with roots in the fiddlers' village of Bingsjö, coloured by Nils Agenmark's intense temperament. Agenmark was the son of Hjort Anders Olsson's daughter, and in his youth he had lessons from his grandfather - an exacting teacher. But Agenmark was stubbornly determined to explore new paths and develop his own style. His fantasies about how the legendary 19th century Bingsjö fiddler Pekkos Per might have sounded provided an impetus for his daily playing.

Pers Hans Olsson plays his own tunes
Frihetens Långdans (The Freedom Long-dance)
Pers Hans inherited a rich musical legacy from his home district of Rättvik. To this he has added many of his own compositions which bear evidence both of tradition and of innovation - and which give a more complete picture of this forceful fiddler. Here are the tunes he wrote for his two daughters, for his father and grandfather (both of whom were leading fiddlers) and for his colleagues, as well as the stately Östbjörka Bridal Tune and the Freedom Long-dance.

Kalle Almlöf and Jonny Soling
Hopspelt (Getting Together)
On every one of the twenty tracks on this CD it's obvious how much these two fiddlers enjoy playing together. Some are new compositions, but the majority are traditional tunes from the regions of Österdalarna and Västerdalarna. Since the 1970s Kalle from Malung and Jonny from Orsa have played together on tours and worked together at numerous fiddlers' courses and in their daily lives as folk music teachers at the Malung Folk High School. When they get together with their fiddles there is ample room for new ideas.

Simon Simonsson's quartet plays tunes from Älvdalen
Längs gamla stigar och färdevägar (Along Old Paths and Horse-tracks)
Twisting tunes from a region dominated by dense forests, huge mountains and the beautiful Älvdalen river. The quartet is made up of Simon Simonsson and Ola Bäckström (fiddles), Ale Möller (bousouki, mouth organ and willow pipe) and Stefan Ekedahl (cello, bagpipes). The CD is a tribute to the self-willed Evertsberg fiddler Ekor Anders, and demonstrates a way of expressing his musical ideas with a broader sonority than can be produced just with fiddles.

Ole Hjorth
Hjort Anders Tunes
Ole Hjorths professional career has been devoted to the violin - as an orchestral musician, teacher and fiddler. It was Hjort Anders who first aroused Ole's interest in the instrument. Ole studied with him for eight years in his youth and since then the Hjort Anders tunes have been Ole's dear companion. A large part of this CD is devoted to a part of Hjort-Anders' repertoire that is less well-known, slow ballad-like tunes which are Ole's absolute favourites.

Kungs Levi Nilsson
Kungs Levi's fiddle-playing is a subtle combination of order and fantasy. It is pure in style and well-controlled, with crystal-clear trills and robust tone. But when he plays the tunes from his home district of Siljansnäs and the neighbouring regions of Leksand and Rättvik, it's the ingenious musical story-teller who comes to the fore. A record where dance rhythms (mostly polskas) are interspersed with marching-tunes, herding tunes and ballads.

Lars Hökpers and Matts Arnberg
with Sven and Sören Roos
Tillman Tunes
Tillman Tunes gives us an insight into the strong, distinctive fiddling tradition of a relatively small region. The master fiddler Olof Tillman from Dala-Floda passed on the tunes to his sons, together with his extrovert, dance-like style of playing, and they in their turn became models for Lars, Matts, Sven and Sören when they began to search for their musical roots in their teens. Want to hear a swinging hager waltz in 2/4 time? Listen to the Tillman tunes!

Mats Berglund
Music from the borderland between Värmland in Sweden and Hedmark in Norway. In this "realm of the elk", as the Värmland poet Bengt Berg called it, folk music roams at will, oblivious of country borders - just like the king of the forest. Mats Berglund has the same open approach and interprets the fiddle tunes from this region in his own, highly personal way. There are also some new compositions on this CD, based on traditional tunes, that were written for the stage version of Selma Lagerlöf's Gösta Berling's Story.

Per Gudmundson
The tunes from Rättvik form the base of fiddler Per Gudmundson's repertoire. He can usually be heard in the folk group Frifot together with Lena Willemark and Ale Möller, but on this solo album Per presents his own versions of several splendid tunes from Rättvik's rich musical heritage. "My exaggerated respect for tradition has gradually turned into a strong feeling of joy in learning to master a language, a language rich in nuance, colour and expression", says Per.

Ola Bäckström
with Hans Röjås, Carina Normansson, Stefan Ekedahl and Björn Tollin
An album which shows the breadth of fiddler Ola Bäckström's musicianship. Traditional tunes from his home region of Ore are combined with ingenious tunes that he has made up himself. Nine of the numbers feature Ola on his own, sometimes he plays an accompanying part on the fiddle, sometimes he plays bouzouki or guitar with the group. Hans Röjås and Carina Normansson play the fiddle, Stefan Ekedahl plays bagpipes and cello, Björn Tollin plays the tambourine.

Hjort Anders Olsson
GCD-22, 23, 24
Hjort Anders Olsson (1865-1952) from Bingsjö was one of the greatest fiddlers of the 20th century. His colourful life and unique fiddle-playing are shown off to full advantage in Giga's CD box. A Swedish "old man blues", as someone once called him. An important part of Sweden's musical history, at all events. The box (3 CDs) contains all the professional recordings of Hjort Anders, 76 tunes in all, as well as a long radio documentary from 1950. A 40-page booklet provides an exhaustive commentary on the fiddler's life, on tradition, technique and the tunes themselves. The recordings were made between 1917 and 1952.

Pers Hans Olsson and Björn Ståbi
More than any other fiddlers today, Pers Hans and Björn Ståbi personify the strong status of two-part fiddling in the Swedish fiddlers' tradition. The first time they played together in 1963 the sparks flew - and they're still flying! This is their second joint CD, which appeared 25 years after their first knock-out success, Bockfot. Hans usually plays the melody and Björn plays the second part. Some of the tunes are played as a solo. Except for a couple of numbers, the tunes are in the Rättvik and Orsa tradition.

Rättvik Spelmanslag 50 Years
The fiddlers' club or spelmanslag is an important meeting-point for fiddlers in many parts of Dalecarlia. The first fiddlers' group was formed in Rättvik in 1944, and thanks to the Rättvik Spelmanslag this form of playing together soon caught on. The sound of several fiddlers playing together was new and attracted large audiences. Today there is still a large interest in the fiddlers' group and there is certainly no lack of new members. No fewer than 49 fiddlers took part in this jubilee CD, on which tunes are sometimes played by the whole fiddlers' group, sometimes by smaller groups. There are also several solo numbers featuring the fiddlers Sparf Anders, Pers Hans Olsson, Per Gudmundson and Anders Bjernulf.

Jonny Soling
Jonny Soling is an important model for present-day Swedish folk musicians in two senses - firstly as a fiddler with a special fondness for the tunes from Orsa, Bingsjö and Rättvik and secondly, as the teacher of hundreds of pupils at high schools, fiddlers' courses and his own one-year folk music course at the Malung Folk High School. On his first solo album Jonny's playing is inspired by his own models - Nils Agenmark, Pål Olle and Gössa Anders. He also presents a couple of his own compositions.

Päkkos Gustaf and Ole Hjorth
The village of Bingsjö has a special place in the hearts of Swedish folk music lovers, both for the huge fiddlers' rally which takes place there every summer and, above all, for its unique musical heritage, which today is preserved by farmer and fiddler Päkkos Gustaf. This CD was released in time for Gustaf's 80th birthday on the 8th March, 1996. Gustaf's fiddle-playing is full of temperament. On eight of the tracks he plays on his own, on the other nineteen Ole Hjorth provides the second part - all the tunes are in the Bingsjö tradition.

Agneta Stolpe (vocal) with Ola Bäckström (fiddle, bousouki, guitar),
Per Gudmundson (fiddle), Lars-Urban Helje (double bass)

A much longed-for CD with Agneta Stolpe, one of the most important names in Swedish folk song. She is backed by fiddlers Ola Bäckström and Per Gudmundson and jazz bassist Lars-Urban Helje. Agneta¹s warm voice invites us to listen to several beautiful, melancholy ballads as well as playful songs and some of her own compositions. The result is an exciting mixture of music in traditional style and completely new worlds of sound.

Kalle Almlöf
Lejsmelåtar (Lejsme Tunes)

Lejsme Tunes is devoted entirely to the repertoire of one of the legendary fiddlers of the 19th century, famous both in Dalecarlia and in Värmland. Lejsme Per Larsson's circumstances were meagre and he lived in the poor people's area of the Malung forest, but he left a rich heritage of tunes. This is proved beyond all doubt when the triplet polskas and fast waltzes are brought back to life by a master fiddler of our own time, Kalle Almlöf from Malung.

Susanne Rosenberg
Ulrika Bodén, Karin Holdar, Eva Rune, Sven Ahlbäck, Mikael Marin,
Annika Wijnbladh
Uppå marmorns höga berg (On the High Marble Mountain)

Swedish folk songs sung in parts in exciting arrangements with a backing of fiddle, viola and cello. Susanne Rosenberg has pioneered the Swedish folk song tradition. In particular she has explored the repertoire of the province of Gästrikland, which is where all the songs on this CD come from - ballads, love songs, herding songs and one or two comic songs. A very varied CD, ranging from solos by Susanne to songs played and sung by the whole septet.

Simon and Olle Simonsson, Kjell-Erik Eriksson
Drängkammarlåtar (Farm-hand Tunes)

Music that was in fashion among country people in Sweden at the beginning of this century. Simon and Kjell-Erik (he can also be heard in the Hoven Droven group) play the fiddle as well as Simon's brother Olle, who also plays the accompaniment on zither and guitar. Most of the tunes come from the fiddlers from Älvdalen in Dalecarlia and Offerdal in Jämtland. The music, together with Simon's commentaries in the booklet, provide a glimpse of a world that not many people are familiar with nowadays. How about the "flat jump", for instance, a dance that was considered so immoral that it was forbidden in certain dance halls!

Erik Björkman
Svärdsjö Spelmanslag
In the mid-1800s Svartnäs in Svärdsjö Finnmark was a lively community with one of the largest iron foundries in Sweden. The village was also a musical centre, with such legendary fiddlers as Vingel Anders and Sammil Gustaf. When Erik Björkman was born in 1906 Svartnäs was still full of life and music. He learnt the Svartnäs tunes and passed them on to the Svärdsjö fiddlers' group. Here the fiddlers' group can be heard, as well as Erik on his own, in polskas, waltzes and some Svartnäs songs.

Perjos Lars Halvarsson and Mattias Helje
Lars and Mattias have brought new life to the old traditions from Lima. Both are smiths and fiddlers and they live a stone¹s throw from each other in the village of Heden. Lars and Mattias have developed a fresh approach to playing together and are much in demand at dances. This is their début on record with tunes after the great Lima fiddlers of bygone times, such as Sjungar Lars, Perbjörs Erik and Kvarnmyr Lars.

Björn Ståbi
Orsa Tunes
Björn Ståbi has made many records, the earliest date from the late 1960s, but this is his first solo album. It is entirely devoted to the music from Orsa, the fiddle tunes that have accompanied him since childhood. It was Björn himself who decided to wait so long before making his first solo record: "I haven't felt ready to play some of these tunes until now. They are developing all the time and in my opinion this has led to greater simplicity", Björn said when he made this record in 1996.

Ellika Frisell with Sven Ahlbäck and Mats Edén
Tokpolska (Crazy Polska)
Ellika found herself at the centre of a playful experiment with Swedish folk music when she played in such groups as Filarfolket and Den fule. At the same time she was searching for an archaic style of fiddle-playing, with a fresh, rough-hewn quality. She found what she was looking for when she heard the old fiddlers - Gössa Anders, Nils Agenmark and Päkkos Gustaf. And that is why a large part of Ellika's record is devoted to the tunes from Orsa and Bingsjö. Here she plays on her own and also together with Sven Ahlbäck, fiddle and Mats Edén, fiddle and viola.

Pers Hans Olsson
Låtar inifrån (Tunes from the Heart)
With clarity and power in his playing and rich warmth of tone, Pers Hans takes the listener on a round trip of the region of Rättvik - a journey in time and space with the tunes and fiddlers that influenced him in his youth. He takes us on a visit to his father Pers Erik in Östbjörka, to Blank Kalle in Blecket, to Börjes Olle from Lerdal, Perols Gudmund in Gärdebyn and Jones Olof in Backa. These fiddlers gave Pers Hans new inspiration on the fiddle and started him off on a career as fiddler which was crowned in 1993 with the Zorn Gold Medal "for masterly and expressive playing in the Rättvik tradition.

Kungs Levi Nilsson, Saras Göte Alfredsson, Alm Nils Ersson,
Kjell-Olov Nilsson
All den kärlek (All The Love)
Thanks to these four fiddlers from Siljansnäs, an almost totally neglected legacy of tunes has been rescued from oblivion and given a new lease of life. This exciting music with its distinctive rhythmic displacements that they rescued from the depths of the archives is known as the "Leksand's Dance", a variant of the polska which was the commonest dance in the district until the mid-1800s. The latest tunes that accompanied the dance were preserved in transcriptions in the early 1900s after such fiddlers as Roligs Per and Skommar Anders.

Mats Berglund
Gränslandslåtar (Tunes from the Borderlands)

GCD 39
Mats Berglund, well-known fiddle-player from the province of Värmland, is one of the most talented Swedish folk-musicians. His popularity as a dance musician has helped him create his own personal style of play. In "Gränslandslåtar" (Tunes from the Borderlands) Mats plays both solo and, in duo, with Göran Håkansson, Fredrik Lundberg and Anders Nordlöf. Most of the tunes on this CD are polska dance tunes with the asymmetrical rhythm that is typical for this geographical and cultural border country of Swedish Värmland and Norwegian Hedmark.

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